Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  May 9, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

12:00 pm
gets moved to the bottom of the conversation. and i would like to -- for you just to talk a little bit about that. you've mentioned the computer fraud statute, but it seems as if the perpetrators of the crimes, the hackers themselves is where we should put more of our emphasis. >> thank you, mr. in represent years, we've seen an increase of ax. for the t.j., we saw a sentence of 20 years. recently in another case that we recently did, an individual was sentenced to 25 years. we believe the actions are having a deterring factor. one the reasons we believe so, for the last two years we've collaborated with verizon business that talks about not only data breaches investigated by the secret service, but also those that verizon businesses responded to. one the things we've seen, and it's mentioned in the study, is that we are now seeing these
12:01 pm
criminals in the past they had always attacked financial services type companies because of the large volume of financial information they had, like processers and financial institutions. we see now the main targets is the hospitality and retail industry. we believe the reason for that is because of the deterrence factor that some of the senses are having. for example, instead of trying to breach into a system that has 150 million financial accounts, they are going now after ten or 12 smaller ones that have smaller amounts because they might face a higher sentence where they would be comprehended for the larger breach. we believe they are having a form of deterrence. >> i know i'm out of time. i look forward to a second round. >> thank you, gentlelady, the chair recognized mrs. --
12:02 pm
>> thank you, mr. chairman. dr. vladeck, you mentioned the need for civil penalty authority to protect consumers. i am wonders if you have seen a draft, there was discussion earlier about the white house proposal on cybersecurity that's going to be circulated this month. do you know if there's a draft of a civil penalty authority? >> i know there is a draft. i don't know how far along the drafting is, and i know that at least in that draft there is authority for us to assays civil penalties of the appropriate cases, yes. >> there is. do you have expectation when you might see that draft? >> none. >> so you heard that includes -- >> we have been shown a draft. and that draft did contain a civil penalty privation. -- provision. >> you have seen a draft? >> yes. but the process is ongoing.
12:03 pm
>> okay. let me also ask any of you this, i'm a co-chair of a house democratic task force on seniors, senior citizens. and i'm particularly concerned about cyber criminal attempts to play on older americans. i wonder if any of you could speak to that threat and any effort that is are being made to protect particularly vulnerable people like seniors. >> if i may, we've seen a spike in prize and sweepstakes scams aimed at senior citizens. i was in chicago on monday. one of your staff members was at our hearing. it is quite clear that scammers are targeting the elderly defined at people over 60 which worries me a little. >> are you taking it personally? >> very personally. targeting people of that age group for a particularly prize and sweepstakes scams.
12:04 pm
this is all on the internet, and increasingly, there's a phishing element. they know something about the person that makes the scam appealing. we are working with our colleague organizations to do both public information and to do enforcement work in the area. >> is it the scam itself that they are after, or are they looking for the information about the individual? i mean are they trying to get people to pay money to participate in the sweepstakes or both? >> both. and what they often do is they you've won $1 million. you just need to pay penalty, pay taxes, or customs fee in order to collect andean send a check that is cashed and then the person who have been scammed sends or just typically wires money abroad. they never see, obviously, their winnings. but they are out whatever the value of the check was. >> thank you. let me finally ask a bit about
12:05 pm
sony. and the security breach, the information breach there was. professor spafford, i know you don't have any specific knowledge about what sony did or did not do to protect the personal information that are collected from consumers. in your testimony you say quote, some news reports indicate that sony was running software that was badly out of date and had been worned about that risk, unquote. i've seen some news report about the sony breach. truthfully, it seems a lot of them comes from blogs and press releases from sony. this is the first i'm hearing about the potentially outdated software and ignored warnings. sony was invited today, and epsilon declined the subcommittee invitation to testify as well. i'm just wondering if you can
12:06 pm
discuss the problems with that software and any of the information that led you to make that statement? >> on a few of the security mailing lists that i read, there were discussions that individuals who work in security and participate in the sony network had discovered several months ago while they were examining the protocols on this sony network, to examine how the games worked. they had discussed that the network service were hosted on a patchy web server. that's a form of software. but they were running on very old versions of apache software that were unpatched and had no firewall as a installed.
12:07 pm
they were potential, and were warned by sony employees, they had seen no response or change or update. >> how long was that? >> that was two to three month prior to the incident where the break-ins occurred. >> thank you. >> i thank the gentlelady. the chair reck thesed mr. harper for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. i appreciate you holding the timely hearing on this topic. i certainly appreciate the witnesses being here to give their insight. dr. vladeck, first question that i'd have for you is, you know, when you look at the extent that many companies go to to try to put in a system that is secure and works, and let's say that it is. how long can we say that it will remain secure as technology improves and changes and with that is there a set time period
12:08 pm
that it would need to be updated, or is it just an as needed? and what do you recommend in that situation? >> we provide a lot of advise to businesses on our web site. and businesses used at those resources constantly. but our basic, our basic advise is inventory what you have, assess risks, don't collect information that you don't need. for the information that you do have, this goes to sony, protect against viruses, spyware, constantly be vigilant to make sure the patches that you need to put in place are installed promptly. disguard information when you are done, and put someone in charge. this is an ongoing dynamic process. one, i think, is the key insights of the first piece of legislation. mr. stearn's legislation was the lead to start building an infrastructure to protect data. and, you know, and that's an ongoing process. you can't, you know, check it
12:09 pm
every six months like you might do the oil in your car. something that you need to be vigilant about. >> well, as you look at what you are working on, how do you coordinate and keep in sync with the -- all of the state attorney's generals on what they are trying to do, and what you are trying to do. how do you coordinate that? >> well, i think when there are data breaches, we generally take the lead on investigations. many states have requirements that consumers be notified, but they don't investigate and take action when the breach was the result in our view truly substandard data security measures. but we do keep the states informed, we recently settled a case against lifelock for data security violations, as well as others. and in that case, we coordinated with 35 states attorneys general. but in terms of the hard core investigation, the key is we take the lead on those. >> mr. martinez, on both the
12:10 pm
epsilon and sony matters, i don't know you are limited on what you can tell us. can you tell us how long it took from the time the breach was protected until consumers were notified? is that something you can share? >> i'm not sure, again, we didn't investigate the sony intrusion, or not investigating it, on the epsilon, i'm not sure. i can get back to you. >> that would be great. listen, when we are looking at all of the breaches, certainly the first thought we have is it going to be somebody who is criminal there for financial gain to access the account info, the personal info, or perhaps sell that data to someone. how much of it would you say is directly attributable to terrorists activity, as opposed to what we consider the basic criminal. >> unfortunately, sir, most of those -- all of those matters are handled by the fbi. so i think that would be a question better answered by them. >> certainly i understand that
12:11 pm
it goes to the fbi. you know, there's the hole of all of the breaches and to what percentage to you think comes to you, and what percentage goes to the fbi? i mean that would be my question? >> with regard to criminal -- >> how much of it would you say of the overall pie is related to terrorists activity? >> again, i couldn't speak to what percentage is related. i believe there are a lot of intrusions. a lot of one that is this committee has been talking about today are criminal in nature. >> mr. brookman, i know we are about out of my time here. but, you know, we talk about all -- we certainly hear in the news what's been detected. you know, we know what we learn, what goes out in the press, what would you imagine -- i know it's just speculation, but what would you imagine goes undetected? >> yeah, i mean moat of the state data breach laws only require notification in the event of a chance of financial
12:12 pm
breach. and the states vary. some of them say notify until you can prove that there are -- nothing went wrong. some of them require some thought there might be harm. if i lost my credit card, business lost the credit card numbers, i would have no reason to know they were used. i think those go undetected. i think a lot of the things like what happened with epsilon. because it is personal information, but not financial information. there's no requirement for those companies to take them out and say, hey, we lost your e-mail address. and to the contrary, we recommend not to do that. so i think, yeah, there are a lot lot -- i think goes under the radar that we don't know about. >> i yield back. thank you, madam chair. >> gentleman, and the chair recognized mr. stearns. >> thank you, mr. vladeck, when i did the bill on the 109th congress, there were less than 30 states that had passed data security legislation. now there's 46 i'm told. what i'm curious, it would seem to me with almost the entire
12:13 pm
united states adopting each state adopting legislation, wouldn't that be incentive enough for companies like sony and epsilon worrying about the representation and the civil liability, i mean why would this occur based on 45 -- 46 states already have legislation? >> i think there are two reasons. one is the state laws do not do what you proposed. which is to require good underlying security. to me one the key insights of your legislation was to we need to do that on national basis. congress needs to step in and say to people holding on to companies, and holding on to sensitive consumer information, look, you need to take reasonable security measures. second, the statistics today have sort of driven home, there are an awful lot of data breaches that have been made public. i'm not sure the representational hit these companies take necessarily is strong enough general incentive to make them step up to the
12:14 pm
plate. time and again we investigate substantial companies, and we find very outdated, outmoted, and insecure practices. so i think the proof is in the marketplace. there's still by my measure way too many breaches and breached caused by the kind of failures that dr. spafford is talking about. failures to patch vulnerabilities. in the ceridian case, the vulnerability was well known to the company. there were three patches available. the company quickly acknowledged it not been -- it will be asleep at the switch. >> we had our legislation federal preemption. we worked out the language. it was by by -- bipartisan. how would you change the bill
12:15 pm
coming out of the subcommittee? would you have federal preemption again? >> let me say two things. the commission is generally supportive for preemption. the federal standard should be the floor, states should be free if they saw fit. >> right now in 46 states, a company like sony could be sued in 46 states. >> that would be true win think, regardless. i would also point out that the civil cases involving security breaches have not faired too well. but in terms of the bill that emerged last year, we were generally supportive, but we would prefer as mr. brookman has suggested to expand the definition of harm. one concern was the definition of harm referred to financial loss or other unlawful acts. it would not have covered geolocation data, information about health status, for were
12:16 pm
for example, information about children. we think the concept of harms needs to be broadened to reflect the kinds of breaches that we've seen and the kinds of concerns that we think are broadly shares. >> one of the things that i was struggling with is so the corporation sets up the security offsuit. how do you make sure the data security officer is complying? is there a freak way to do it? i thought too the free markets, have something like accounting firm that is would just on their own develop and say we'll come in and do private audits. the question is how much should the government get involved to make sure they are complying with federal tradition commission requirements? everybody will say the janitorring could be the national security officer. the elevator operator. bingo, we are done. how do we as legislators and you as the jurisdiction ensure that that is actually happening?
12:17 pm
>> well, what we -- i mean you are auditing illustration is a good one. when we put companies under order, we require them to develop a detailed privacy policy to appoint a responsible person which has the credentials of dr. spafford, not a janitor, and outside firms audit every two years to make sure the company is living up to the promise. as an enforce many tool, if there's a chief privacy officer who's required to ensure the plan is being implemented, if there's another breach, i suspect that not only would we sue the company, but we might sue the responsible official in that case, it would be the chief privacy officer. so there are ways of holding people accountable. one the insights of the bill is you need somebody responsible within the company. >> yeah. >> we i think very important. my time has expired. madam chair, somebody else on the panel that would like to
12:18 pm
comment on my questions. is that possible? mr. martinez, dr. spafford, mr. brookman -- >> we're going to have a second round. to be fair to the junior members to allow that in the second round. the chair recognized mr. guthrie for five minutes. >> thank you for being here. thank you madam chairwoman for holding this. this is both mr. vladeck and mr. martinez, the core of the problem is that typically improperly secured information from people holding the data or the criminal networks that are just a step ahead. they figured out -- somebody can be vigilant in what they are doing and somebody figured out a way around the system. what are you seeing? just sloppy corporation side or data holders or is it the other? i know it's probably a combination of both. what do you see the most? >> yes, sir, it is a combination of both. ly go through some of the statistics on the recent study
12:19 pm
that we did with verizon business. 92% of the attacks were not highly difficult, and 96% of the breaches were avoidable through simple or intermedia controls. i think our panel member haves told you and brought up a lot of recommendations. so it's a lot of times it's that some of the security measures that should be in place just aren't fully implemented. and although we do have criminals that are highly sophisticated and we have seen the amount of attacks due to hacking increase, a lot of these attacks, though, could have been avoidable had best practices been applied. >> so you are saying that 96% were -- were essentially could have been avoided if it will be reasonable and rigorous. >> yeah, shows the same? >> i don't know if i would qualify it that way. many of the breach that is we see are due to laxity or just foolishness. for example, we've sued both
12:20 pm
riteaid, and cvs, for throwing information into dumpsters. you don't need to be a criminal to go dumpster diving. in those cases, we do an investigation, but we don't pursue civil enforcement. we don't want to be playing gosh here. this is not strict liability regime. >> i guess if you are a question of reasonable and rigorous and there's something getting a step ahead through technology, then you always have to update the reasonable and rigorous. sounds like you could eliminate 90% of the problems just by having a reasonable policy. obviously, throwing stuff in the dumpster is not reasonable. you are seeing clear differences. >> also not putting -- not applying the patches that the company is sending you to fix a known vulnerability, in our
12:21 pm
view, it's not any different that leaving the doors of the vault open. >> i know you are doing consumer education. this is outside of it, but it's within the realm of what we are talking about. the other day i got a phone call. this is your bank. you got a problem with your account. of course, i hung up. a lot of people don't. this is what ms. schakowsky is talking about. oh, i got to fix my bank account. are you focusing on that area? is that your area? what are you doing with that? >> yes, and yes. we are principally an anti-fraud agency. that's the kind of classic fraud that we are fighting every day. and there are an awful lot of people who have taken advantage of the economic downturn. people are more vulnerable to fraud when they are in financial jeopardy, and their fraudsters are out in force taking advantage of the most vulnerable. that's what we spend a lot of our time on. >> the final question.
12:22 pm
i'll go back to mr. stearns. mr. spafford, you are talking about in your testimony the cost of the breach. i guess my questions is as a business, if the cost is going to be expensive, why wouldn't i invest upfront? is the problem the cost to run the business, but the cost of the breach is spread out? when you said $214 per breach, is that born by the company? i think you said $214. i didn't write it down. >> the cost was the result of the study that was done. that cost was per record, $214 per record. >> costing the company that allowed the breach to happen? >> yes, to the company. and that cost was cost of notification, cost of cleanup, cost of outside auditors, legal costs. >> so are businesses just not aware of these costs? seems like if i was a business and that was my liability -- >> that's correct.
12:23 pm
businesses don't realize what it's going to cost. >> or they have a no cost here and hopefully not another cost that way. >> mr. stearns, i don't know if -- i didn't leave you enough time. >> i thank the gentleman for his courtesy. i'll wait for the second round. >> i appreciate that, gentleman. the chair recognized you for five minutes. >> thank you, gentlewoman. i'm curious about the issue. i have not been a victim that i know of. have any of you four for a victim of breach? >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> yes. >> all four of you. how is the company know that it's been breached? the lights to go on? is it -- i mean i had a -- i had a real life before i came to washington. and we had a firm with 100
12:24 pm
employees. would our it person have seen a breach? how do we know we were breached? you all keep talking about the larger companies, what about the view of america, the small businesses? >> before i took the job, i worked for the new york attorney generals office. >> pardon? >> i worked in the new york attorney generals office and internet bureau and we would get the breach notification that said smaller companies that hi had lost a lot of data. in our experience, a lot of it was we lost a computer. maybe even half. someone put their computer in their car. and this is not just small companies, the veterans affairs famous breach that happened. someone put a lot of data laptop, left is in the backseat
12:25 pm
of the car, someone took it. there's a very small chance the person would look for the file and not know what to do. but you may have someone who have access and you don't know how they are being used. >> yes, i understand. >> another possibility is that someone comes in in the morning and they discover in the record on their system it has accessed from an account in eastern europe or china or south africa, and that person has downloaded megabytes worth of information off of the system, including the entire customer database. and that certainly not someone who has legitimate access to the system. >> how would you know? >> because there's a record of it. there's an audit trail of all of that information. >> your computer is automatic. every small company? >> not every company. some would. there's a record. and the company if they have turned on the record. or it's possible that a business partner or someone else would
12:26 pm
say we've found a copy of your entire customer record on our machine. and how did it get here? somebody must have left it here? and so you often discover this because it got out and somebody found a copy of it. >> okay. i'm still not clear on that. i'm going to have to live with it longer and ask more questions over time. i think what i've heard is a lot of larger firms and a lot more records on the smaller firms. i'm trying to understand. not that i know of, knock on wood, i've never been -- i've been breached, i don't know what they are looking for. i don't know with the former firm, what type of security we have. i think it was at the end you said something about if you've been breached with the notification that the consumer is to take appropriate action. what's appropriate action? it's happened. are they supposed to get a new
12:27 pm
credit card or -- what is appropriate action for the little lady -- 70-year-old lady on main street? if someone notifies her, what action is she supposed to take? do they tell her? >> generally the breach notifications do tell her what action to take. our web site and others provide that basic information. >> your web site -- >> well, the breach notification should tell her what action. if someone has hacked e-mail addresses, she will be alerted that she may get the e-mails from her bank asking her to provide account information, these are phishing attacks. i don't think they'd be subscribed in the technical terms. i think if there was credit card information, she maybe told to look at the account information, engage in credit monitoring.
12:28 pm
or the company might provide credit monitoring for her. there are steps people can take to minimize the risk of loss. and one point of data notification, or breach notification is to provide individual notice to every consumer about what the appropriate steps that consumer should take to protect his or her interest? >> thank you. i'd just whatever the bill comes out, i hope there are some ways that get down to the grassroots level on how to deal with this. thank you. >> i thank the gentleman in round two. i recognize myself for five minutes. dr. spafford, do you -- your testimony supports legislation that would apply to all entities that collect the personal information, including the government. do you think the government is ahead, equal, or behind the private sector, and what about universities and nonprofits in that regard? >> i think there are -- i think the government and many
12:29 pm
nonprofits have good security in some places and very poor security in others. i have testified at hearings in previous years for losses of information at the veterans affairs. there was an occasion there that was just mentioned. laptops being lost. there have been occasions where database have been breached even in the military and information taken. there have also a number of cases where the systems are very well protected. at universities, some are very well protected, some are wide open, and student records are regularly disclosed. charities, businesses, it's across the board. some are very good, some unfortunately, are not. >> thank you. mr. brookman as the subcommittee knows, we submitted a letter to sony. we have the responses as of late last night. i looked at them this morning to share something with you that they do have in their letter to
12:30 pm
us. we asked them about new security measures. they responded, they are implementing new security measures that include adding audited software managing, to defend against attacks, enhance ed encryption, and also included in that unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns. :
12:31 pm
but sadly so many places it is not someone's job to delete legacy data. i was very interested in the suggestion about chair blackburn with the idea of a eraser button. i think that is strong idea. if i have a direct relationship with a company, and unsubscribe my relationship i should be able to delete that data. i think it very strong idea, recognizing representative butterfield's idea, hard for congress to say keep data so long because it varies across industries. giving consumers the power to say go ahead and delete that now i think is a very good idea. >> dr. stafford you were speaking to vulnerability known to ma'am, the blogosphere. you're speaking about the san diego facility. some speculate there was a breach in the, or a, they're saying it was an at&t service center in san diego where there was known vulnerability.
12:32 pm
but if there are known vulnerabilities what do we do as a policy that minimizes these sort of physical locations and vulnerabilitis? i think my better question would be better directed to mr. martinez or mr. vladeck about known vulnerabilities in a system and our ability to affect the physical locations known to the bad guys but seems we're always sort of behind the bad guys in our limits to stop them from the what they're doing. >> yes, madam chair. like i stated earlier. a lot of times what we see when we do investigations, and this collaborative study what is shows 96% could have been avoidable through simple intermediate controls. meaning if there are 100 servers that the company owned they possibly patch 99 of them but foregot to patch the last one. an instance like that could create the havoc we see. >> you're saying it is all corporate responsibility at that point, correct? >> what i'm saying no matter the size of the company or who it is you have to be diligent in your systems.
12:33 pm
it is not just being compliant for that moment. you have to maintain the diligence and monitor your systems on a constant basis. >> thank you. mr. vladeck, with my remaining 25 seconds i think it is important you spoke to the concept of harm and i think that's critical and people don't understand what it means to be hacked or have your personal information stolen until it is mentioned. you mentioned gilo location and kids and health records. can you speak about the vulnerabilities beyond somebody might buy something on my credit card? i think people to understand what the crimes could be. >> i don't know these would be crimes. that's why we're concerned about the definition that is within 2221. what harm was other unlawful action? for example, eli lilly in one of the first cases we did sent out an e-mail blast which associated particular patients with prozac. now, that is a reputational harm that i think most people would like to avoid. i don't know whether
12:34 pm
eli lilly committed a crime but, people ought to be notified in those kinds of circumstances. it just struck us. in cvs and rite aid they were dumping prescription records in dumpsters. people ought to know when that happens even if the act of dumping them is not at crime. geolocation data could be used for stalking and other purposes. when the committee reexamines this legislation we urge that you take somewhat broader view of what constitutes harm in this area. >> thank you. okay, the chair recognizes mr. butterfield for five minutes. >> thank you. technology evolves rapidly and what is cutting-edge technology today is obsolete tomorrow. the sony press releases have stated that consumers credit card information was encrypted. in addition, sony stated yesterday and the hill newspaper that passwords were protected using a hash function. describe as a shortened
12:35 pm
version of full encryption. the data breach provision in the bill we passed last year established a presumption that no reasonable risk of harm exists following a breach if the data is encrypted. dr. spafford, do you agree or disagree with that? >> sir, i disagree because it is possible that disclosure could also include the password necessary to descript those passwords and that would mean that they could then be descripted and read as well. encryption all by itself is not a solution. it has to be such that the encrypted material can also not be read. >> are there any technologies that you believe can be given such a presumption? >> certainly there are. there are some forms of encryption that could be appropriately used if the key material is kept separate for instance but one has to look at the
12:36 pm
overall risk of whether or not the protected material would be disclosed if that, if that material were breached. >> of course encryption as you said has its downside but do you agree it is still the gold standard? >> some kind are. some forms of encryption can be broken fairly triflly. encryption is, some forms of encryption are very good and some are not. some previously versions of legislation that were introduced in this committee we have sent letters about problems with encryption and i would be happy to provide copies of those to you later. >> thank you. special agent martinez in your testimony you describe a strong working
12:37 pm
relationship with the fbi which you state works through the national cyber investigative joint task force to lead the federal government's response to online national security threats. now i imagine there are some fuzzsyness around cyber threats to businesses and some could also be threats to national security. that's probably part of the reason there's a task force and why your agency is involved. i understand that business, not the government own most of the network computer infrastructure. it is the private sector that controls and is responsible for vast swaths of network for the financial system, power generation and our electricity grid. given your experience in dealing with intrusions into private sector computing assets, is the private sector doing enough to guard the security and integrity of networked computers? >> i think there's always more that we can do, sir. i think from what you see today from some of the testimony and from some of
12:38 pm
the intrusions that were we're actually discussing there is a still a lot more that needs to be done. i think what is important that the public sector needs to collaborate with the private sector making sure we improve our security. >> and would you extend that to the federal government? >> yes. i believe there are already steps that have been taken within the federal government to do that. >> all right. special agent, in your testimony you also describe your relationship with the united states computer emergency readiness team. according to your testimony that group defends against cyber intrusions on the dot-gov domain and shares information and collaborates with state and local governments and industry. insofar you participate in partnerships and information-sharing with business can you please describe this relationship a bit more? >> yes. and i think it would be better explained by usserv. when there is an incident that occurs a lot of times what we'll do, we'll incur
12:39 pm
as private sector partners to reach out to u.s. search that they come up with plan and best practices and so forth. in the last several years ago we improved our efforts working with us-cert taking the lead in mitigation efforts after an intrusion. >> thank you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. stearns for five minutes. >> thank you. gentleman from north carolina makes a good point. when you look across the federal government it is almost sector by sector approach in dealing with the government. i know serving on veterans' affairs there were breaches of huge number of veterans when a computer was taken home and the information was breached. staff has pointed out that the there are example for the veterans' affairs they have the veterans' affairs information security act but that just applies to the veterans' affairs. you have the federal information security
12:40 pm
management act which again is sector by sector. so, you know, a thing this committee would have to struggle with deciding what would apply to the federal government. mr. vladeck do you think there should be a small business exemption for this? i heard a lot of small businesses say i don't want the overlay of a data security officer? how much is this going to cost me? there is more regulation. so the question is, is there a possibility that a small business of, let's say, less than 100 employees, less than 50 employees there would be a sort of a modified approach or do you think the whole thing should apply to them too? >> i think we need to separate out the various requirements of legislation. we did not support a small business exemption from the data security requirements. >> right. >> we thought that the -- >> that was crucial. >> that was crucial. but what we did support rule-making authority for the commission to determine when small businesses should
12:41 pm
be granted a waiver from the provisions relating to the payment for monitoring credit reports following a breach. >> okay. >> i think that was the objection raised by small business at the time. we favored some flexibility that would be, would be determined after a public rule-making and, perhaps exemptions would be, would be authorized pursuant to that rule-making. >> dr. spafford, there is some talk about cloud computing being done here on the house and we no longer have our servers in our individual hard disks and so forth. if a company moves towards cloud come suiting storage, is that safe or less safe in your opinion keeping the servers proprietary and protected? >> it depends where the cloud storage is and how well it is protected because what you have is, you're putting your records on computing resources that are stored somewhere else and
12:42 pm
protected by someone else. if you have a private cloud, then that is within your corporate domain or within congress here protected here. but if you're using an outsourced you may not even know where it is and how it's protected. a concern i mentioned in my testimony is that some cloud service providers may actually have their storage located outside the country. >> oh. >> so if that storage -- >> like the philippines? >> we have a whole new set of problems because that storage is now outside the domain of the u.s.. >> we don't have reciprocity laws with countries outside so it gets more difficult. >> it gets considerably more difficult. >> so if the information is preached where do people go to sue? because it is outside -- i guess you go to the holding company, the major corporation? >> that is beyond my area of expertise. >> mr. brookman or martinez anyone want to comment on cloud computing? >> yes, sir.
12:43 pm
crime scene now like dr. spafford said, the crime scene does not become the server farm located at a building. the crime scene, part of it could be in the philippines. part of it could be in mexico. part of it could be in los angeles. so it makes much more difficult for law enforcement to take action and obtain that information. specifically when we have to go overseas there is whole another trigger of requirements or things we need to do, mutual legal assistance treaties. the question becomes do we have treaties with countries where some of this information resides? >> mr. brookman? >> i say in response to that many case it is may well be the case cloud computing servers would offer better private security for you especially in case of a small business who doesn't have the technical know how to protect the data or what the latest cutting-edge encryption techniques are. in that scenario it may be of marginal significance security benefit from using a third-party service provider.
12:44 pm
on the other hand i mean in the recent news, epsilon was a third party service provider whose job was to do mass marketing and obviously it is not a fail-safe. >> we encountered this issue already in our enforcement efforts and our position is that u.s. companies when they're storing data involving u.s. citizens or u.s. transactions they're responsible to us even if the data is stored in a cloud computer offshores. and we have made that quite clear. we haven't tested in the courts but we're quite confident we would be able to assert our authority in those kinds of instances. i think mr. martinez's concerns may be more complicated than ours. >> thank you, madam chair. >> thank the gentleman. the chair recognizes mr. lance for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. good morning to the panel. dr. spafford, in its letter
12:45 pm
to the subcommittee sony said that it acted with care and caution. i'm wondering if that is the case why wouldn't sony notify consumers as shoon as it shut down its network? >> well, sir, i don't have full access to all the details of what was required for them to gather the information as to what happened to determine what individuals were involved and what law enforcement needs were involved for them to gather evidence before notifying people. certainly they also were in a state where they had to be sure that they had closed all of the vulnerabilities before notifying individuals i would assume and so that, those factors probably introduced a lag into the notification. >> is there anyone else on the panel who might be willing to comment on that? i know this is speculative. is there anybody else who would be interested in
12:46 pm
commenting on that? another area, agent martinez, in its letter, sony also says it believes it has identified how the breach occurred. from your perspective and your expertise why do law enforcement officials need a window of opportunity so to speak to investigate a data breach before consumers are notified? >> sir, i can't speak specifics to the sony. i can tell you based on our experience in previous cases there could be times where through an operation that we are actually conducting, an active investigation we actually are the ones who find the breach and report it to the company. so in certain instances we work with the company and there is, a lot of states have enacted the delay in notification for law enforcement purposes because we don't want to have happening is that the company does could impact the investigation and then possibly, hurt the investigation and not allow
12:47 pm
us to apprehend the individual. but what we always do is work with these companies and in instances where we do need some form of delay of notification we try to minimize that as much as possible so the company can make the notification it needs. >> thank you. and, madam chair, i yield back balance of my time to you, madam chair. >> i thank the gentleman. i will graciously take you up on your 2 minute and 30 second offer. understanding mr. dingell is on his way down. i do questions until he can participate. this has been a very inciteful hearing. each member has brought up different complexities and understanding how they see these problems. miss shakusky when she specifically brought up the threat to seniors. i hadn't thought about the sony playstation and perhaps a younger generation and risk to them. i want to reiterate although she is not here i will continue to work with her and explore the senior angle and with the ftc as well.
12:48 pm
i want to thank and congratulate the members who worked on this legislation previously. we've come a long way, 2005. i don't know many people were talking about cloud computing and yet we are today. i think understanding briefly, the ftc will have the authority to go out and, servers based offshore but do we also risk overlegislating and sending more offshore if we're not careful and? it will go to either mr. martinez or mr. vladeck on that. >> frankly i don't think this legislation is going to affect cloud computing. i think that companies are migrating the cloud. i think servers are internet worked to the point where the physicians callowcation of the server is -- physical location of the server is much less important than the security it provides. the legal regimes will adapt. we have not gotten push back from companies we investigated where there was an issue whether the data
12:49 pm
was physically within the united states territory or not. in ceridian, ceridian is a global company and we ended up settling the case in a way that makes it crystal clear its accounts for u.s. companies or for other companies that are employing people in the united states are covered regardless of where physically the computer may be. or the server may be. >> thank you. briefly i just had a great question and, dr. cassidy, do you have a question immediately for the panel? chair recognizes dr. cassidy for five minutes. >> [inaudible]. there's another committee hearing so i apologize if somebody already answered this. let me start with mr. brookman. mr. brookman, i'm driving to my in-laws. there is a wreck. pop up on the cell phone and tells me congestion on the freeway. this is pretty impressive. then i read article showing
12:50 pm
how broad-minded i am on msnbc's website how this location data is apparently stored forever. i'm thinking, that is great i can see where i am any given time, if there is red zone ahead i need to get off on a side road. on the other hand why should whomever, google, apple, keep this forever? what thoughts do you have? >> there are definitely wonderful secondary uses of location data that google and sky hook and apple have all uses for. i think the map is great example. there are ways to do it not privacy-invasive. they have to remember it is me for a little bit. they have to see my car stuck on the beltway moving five miles an hour. but they can forget that after an hour. there are things they can do to not have to remember it is me for my entire life. i think the recent apple story about storing location information up to a year resident on your phone for the, what seems to be a
12:51 pm
marginal performance improvement and to increase battery life i think it is a great example of maybe not thinking through privacy by design as a concept from the beginning of this engineered thought, hey it would be a great idea if you had all the cell towers nearby you stored in your phone so instead of checking back to apple to say hey, where am i, you can check your phone. not really thinking this is permanent log wherever i have been last year i might not want someone like hacker or someone to get their hands on. i think a lot of companies taken the location permission seriously. so i'm glad that android and google and microsoft and rim phones, they do ask hey, is it cool to your location right now? i still think they're working through some of the secondary usage issues because you can create really detailed logs about people in ways that they would not expect. >> but i will say, okay, now i'm sensitive to it. and i'm looking at my phone and i'm logging onto a map and there pops up that sort
12:52 pm
of, click here after you have read 16,000 pages legalese to proceed, but this time i actually read a little bit of it. turns out totally optional and all i was doing was giving them permission to store my data. it gives them the patina, figure leaf being careful about my data but reality it was a trick. i was thinking, this is, you know, i'm not going to whatever rip off their copyright but indeed it was no, we can sacrifice your privacy. what kind of protections put it this way i'm thumbing across this because i'm driving through mobile, alabama i'm assuming the commission thought about this. what is the best way to address this? >> there are two responses. one for the purposes of data security we already discussed what we would think is an important amendment to the prior legislation which is, to talk about geolocation data, the disclosure of geolocation data as a result of a breach is a harm that
12:53 pm
would trigger the notification requirements. because if your geolocation data where you've been for the last two years or whatever -- >> i'm not defensive of, to be sure about that. >> no implication at all. but, you ought to be notified of that. >> now, do we need legislation says, thou shalt not keep this beyond x-number of? >> the commission is very concerned about geolocation data. we're engaged, for example, a review of the children's online privacy protection act. one question we've asked is, how should we treat geolocation data? in our privacy report issued in september we reviewed. geolocation date is data that requires higher protections. >> this is should we have a law that thou shalt not keep this x-number of days? >> the commission has not taken a formal position on that to underscore the sensitivity of that data.
12:54 pm
and -- >> will be argument against? again, most folks i was only aware of it because i stomach belled across a website i don't normally read. so, why would i -- >> part of our concern of course is that the notice and consent in quotes that is extracted in the kind of situation that you're talking about is not significant, is not substantial. we are worried about those things. >> again, what is the argument against that? that's my question. i'm asking anybody. >> i think there would be two arguments. one is functionalty. the data is being retained really to enhance the functionalty -- >> although mr. brookman suggested that is short-term functionality benefit. >> that is correct. but i'm headache making the argument on the other side. not my arguments. so the arguments, one is functionality. the other is it helps their analytics. it helps to perfect the kind of service --
12:55 pm
>> precisely my point. >> i'm not disagreeing with you. you asked that i at least rehearse the arguments that you'll hear and those are the two basic arguments that you'll hear. >> one more, mr. brookman to reply? >> yes. >> there are cases where it may be reasonable. i'm always scared about prescribing in law you must delete after a certain period of time but there are uses of data where it might be reasonable for it to be tied to me for a specific period of time. if i have a traffic program on my computer and i want my computer to remember, my phone to remember where i go give me optimized directions that could be a legitimate use of my data. people use programs like foursquare and looped and facebook places to check into places to kind of maybe overshare but to create a very permanent log of all the places they have been. some people like that. i think i've used a similar trip advisor feature on facebook, hey i've been to this place and that place and i checked in through my phone. it depends on the usage. if you really do want to
12:56 pm
create, hey, this is where i've been to tell the world, i don't necessarily want to get in the way of that and tell people they can't do it. >> so perhaps the solution to be a little less tricky in terms of the, do we have your permission and so it's clear to record your data for in perpetuity by clicking here? >> i absolutely aagree with that. you should be very clear about uses taking data for. before you share with another person and get permission and not just buried on paragraph 40 in terms of service and in conspicuous way and ftc has done great writing what that means. >> thank you. >> the chair recognizes mr. dingell for five minutes. >> madam chair, thank you for your courtesy and commend you for holding this hearing. i particularly appreciate your hearing keeping hearing open for me, thank you. to all witnesses this will be a yes or no answer, starting on your right, on
12:57 pm
my least. first of all, sir, do you believe that the current industry efforts with respect to insuring data security are sufficient? yes or no? starting on, you're the one, sir. >> i'm the one. i would say no. >> next witness? >> i would say no. >> sir? >> no. >> sir? >> no. >> members of the panel, again, to all witnesses, can such efforts be improved or do you believe that the congress should pass comprehensive security legislation? first question is, can efforts be improved and the second one is, should the congress pass comprehensive security data, data security legislation? answers to both parts of the question. >> yes to both. >> sir? >> yes to both this.
12:58 pm
>> sir? >> yes to both if legislation is strong enough. >> gentleman, being very patient. a lot to get across in very limited amounts of time so your courtesy is particularly appreciated. gentlemen, i understand that the comprehensive data security requirements do not at this time exist in the united states. rather there exist as patchwork of federal and state law and regulations that impose varying requirements on different people. should federal data security requirements supersede state requirements yes or no? >> i can't use yes or no. yes to the extent they're not as substantial as federal requirements they should be at least the floor. >> sir? >> sir i believe there should be a national standard for data breach reporting. >> thank you. >> sir? >> without knowing what the standards are, sir, i can't answer. >> sir? >> if there are strong enough and allow for state
12:59 pm
innovation, yes. >> would i be fair in assuming however that the panel thinks that we need a lot of work to assure that we achieve the standards needed of a national character, am i correct on that, sir? >> yes, sir. >> sir? >> sir, think there has been a lot of work for several years on multiple different types of data breach legislation introduced in all different types of committees and i believe the administration is real close to presenting to congress a pack than that was worked on by multiple executive agencies. >> thank you. little more friendly question this time, sir? >> yes. >> sir? >> yes. >>. gentlemen, this is always a question we run into. further in the light 6 federal fiscal constraints should states attorney generals be allowed to enforce federal security requirements. yes or no? >> yes. >> sir? >> could you repeat the
1:00 pm
question? >> should federal fiscal restraints be able to be enforced by state attorneys general? >> i'm not sure, i'm not sure if i'm qualified to answer that. >> i will not press you on that. sir? >> i'm not sure if i'm qualified to answer that but i think so. >> sir? >> absolutely. . .
1:01 pm
>> that keep pace with technical advancements in threats to data security? yes or no? >> yes. >> again, mr. vladeck, if -- do you want to give a comment? do you believe that the ftc should be allowed to write data security regulations according to the administrative procedure act? do you understand that there's quite a difference between the two standards for rulemaking? >> yes, i do. and, yes, to the extent we're given rulemaking authority, we would ask strongly that it be conferred under the administrative procedure act. >> thank you. now to all witnesses, does the federal trade commission currently have the resources with which to implement and enforce comprehensive data security requirements? yes or no? mr. vladeck, if you please.
1:02 pm
>> we always need more resources. >> if you please, sir. >> i would differ to the ftc regarding their resources. >> wise move, doctor. >> i do not know. >> they could use more. >> to all witnesses who have been demonstrated extraordinary patient here, if you thought no, in that case, what additional authorization would the ftc require to enforce such data security requirements? i would be perfectly appropriated if you want to submit this for the record. in some future and comfortable time. mr. vladeck? >> we currently have a regulartive small staff working on privacy issues. relative to other agencies. but it's an important part of our mission, and we are a small
1:03 pm
agency which would benefit greatly from having enhanced resources in this area. >> mr. martinez. >> again, sir, i would defer to the ftc -- >> doctor? >> i would refer to the ftc. >> last witness? >> larger staff, penalty authority, and fta rulemaking. >> gentleman, you've been patient. chairman, you've given me a minute 34 seconds more than i'm entitled to. >> thank you. i'm impressed with his ability to pack a wallet with so many yeses and nos. i ask to include the sony and epsilon correspondence in the hears. without objection, so ordered. i want to sum up by saying prior to 2005, we didn't spend a whole lot of time as a nation talking about the dangers of data breaches. things have sure changed in a hurry. we've gone to a stolen laptop containing 260,000 records to a
1:04 pm
cyberattack, containing 100 million customer records. this begs the important question if we don't do something soon, what's next and where does it end? i'd like to remind members they have ten business days to submit for the record, and please responsible properly to any questions they receive. i thank our witnesses for the help. our hearing is now adjourned. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
1:05 pm
>> when sony says we were protecting the consumer, the consumer might want to know, wait a minute, i too have the right to protect myself. all i'm asking and saying as a policymaker, should they know sooner? >> california representative mary bono mack on the theft of millions of consumers personal data from sony's playstation network tonight on 8 eastern on the communicators on c-span2. >> c-span's comprehensive resource on congress congressional chronicle has new
1:06 pm
features to make it easier to find information. data schedules, full list of members, committee hearings, plus video of every house and senate, and progress of bills in both. take a look at the new congressional chronicle, at >> every weekend, experience american history on c-span3. it's 45 hours of people and events telling the american story. people who have shaped modern america. they feature the country's best known history writers and travel to important battlefields to learn about key figures and events during the 150th anniversary of the civil war. every weekend visit college classrooms as the professors delve into america's past. join the historians behind the scenes on american artifacts,
1:07 pm
and the presidencies focussologien the policies and legacies as told through administration officials and experts. american history tv. all weekend, every weekend. get the complete schedule online and sign up to have them e-mailed to you, using the c-span alert. coming up today, a look at the future of the congressional research service. part of the library of congress, the crs, provides nonpartisan analysis to lawmakers. live coverage on 2 p.m. eastern on our companion network, c-span. and here on c-span2, the u.s. senate gavels in at 2 eastern today. the first order of business is the swearing in of dean heller --
1:08 pm
>> ahead, former fcc chair newton minnow and julius genachowski will discuss the future of communications. live coverage at 7 eastern on c-span. up next, deputy agriculture
1:09 pm
secretary on usda actions to combat childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating and nutrition. from a conference on food and sustainable agriculture hosted by the "atlantic magazine" this is about half an hour. >> good morning. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. [inaudible conversations] >> good morning and welcome. we're going to get started. my name is elizabeth baker heffron, i wanted to welcome you to the second annual food summit on behalf of the underwriter dupont, and thank to the supporting underwaying, coca-cola, the council for biotechnology information, and dole. this is a critically important time in the world of food.
1:10 pm
with food producers, consumers, and the government all trying to solve a rubik's cube. these are problem that is are global in scope that the u.s. has attorneyed to led the way in questions such as how do we feed the worlds population given the growth that is expected across the next few decades, how can food production increase to meet the demand, yet with more sustainable agriculture resources and consumption? can we keep the cost of food at a reasonable level while improving quality? how do we address the issues of substandard, nutrition, and obesity which are public health and cost problems? for most of the questions, it's a three rate conversation. variety jeopardy game with the consumers, producer, and government all weighing in. i'm no alex trebek, but i will do my best today across the day to guide our conversation at the
1:11 pm
atlantic second annual food summit with discussions on all of these terrains. we'll have three panel discussions, one on sustainable agriculture, one on global food security, access and affordability. one on consume choice, nutrition and policy. we'll have a keynote address first thing up when the department of agriculture secretary kathleen, and assistant chef sam, deafty commissioner for foods at the fda, mike taylor, and ellis waters. whether on the stage or behind the scenes, we'll have the ring master, corbey guiding us. i will give him a more thorough introduction later, i wanted to thank dupont, coca-cola, and dole. we'd love to have you share your
1:12 pm
thoughts on twitter. we'd set up hashtag atlantic food. there will be an opportunity for questions, you'll see two mics. if you don't mind gives us your name and organization before your question, we'd appreciate that. we'd love to get your feedback. we have given you question -- questionnaires. we are live streaming and have c-span here. we'll have a much larger audience than you see in the room. i'll kick off the program with two introductions, those of executive vice president of dupont, james burrell, who will welcome kathleen marrigan to the stage. first i'm introduce james, and then turn things over. deputy secretary marrigan works alongside secretary tom vilsack
1:13 pm
overseaing the programs, and spearheads the budget process. she also manages the know your farmer, know your food effort to highlight the critical connection between farmers and consumers in support of local and regional food systems that increase economic opportunity in rural america. before becoming deputy secretary, dr. marrigan served as the food and environment graduate program as the friedman school of nutrition science and policy a tough university. she was in the clinton administration, serving as administrator of the usda market service from 1999 to 2001. prior to that, she was senior member on the agriculture committee, working for senator patrick leahy. in 2010, "time" magazine named her among the 100 most
1:14 pm
influential people in the world. she holds the phd in environmental planning and policy from m.i.t., masters of public affairs from texas, and ba from williams college. before secretary speaks, we'll hear from executive vice president james burrell from dupont. he's served since 2009 as executive president. jim's career with the company began in 1978 after an earlier career and childhood in iowa and with the 4-h. before the title, he served for the agriculture businesses. dupont crop protection and pioneer hybrid. in the earlier career with dupont, he served as senior vice president, and before that, as vice president general manager of dupont crop protection. previously, he worked as business director, regional director of asia, and regional
1:15 pm
manager of agriculture products and was based at that point in tokyo. he's the chair of the 4-h bored of trustees, he serves on the delaware community foundation, and the university of delaware. he holds a degree in agriculture business from iowa state university. thank you. and i'll turn it over to jim burrell for his remarks. [applause] >> thank you, elizabeth. good morning, everybody. on behalf of dupont, i want to thank "the atlantic" for sponsoring the event and thank each of you for participating. at the discussion here today and also the discussion and actions that you are going to take beyond the room. actions about food and about the future. as we all no, the world population is going to hit $7 billion this year. at dupont, we are focusing on science and our efforts on three areas that we see as critical in
1:16 pm
order to meet the challenges that the growing population is going to demand. one, stainable feeding the world, second, producing our dependence on fossil fuels and keeping both people and the environment safe. it's clear that the solutions to the pressing problems that are going to affect the world based on the growing population are going to need to include science. and science is really what we do at dupont. and in many ways, it's who we are. whether it's advanced materials that enable solar panels to effectively transform light into energy, or advance seeds that boost yields and improve productivity of soil and nutricents and water. as we work around the world, we found four pillar to guide and improve food quality and quantity. one is science that universal. but solutions must be local.
1:17 pm
with variations in things like climate and soils and cultural traditions and transportation infrastructure, what matters most is how a particular solution works in a particular farmers field. the second broad pillar is the solutions need to be collaborative. they have to be reached in concert with communities, government, ngos, and with global entities that have specialized expertise and can help solve the problems. third, the know how has to be wrought to the people and the places that need it most. we must work side by side be everyone involved to transfer knowledge. finally, sustainability is key. the best ways we've found to achieve that is by looking at challenges holistically, then to develop solutions in a collaborative way. one example of that kind of collaboration is the committee for agriculture innovation and productivity for the 21st century. the committee which was initiated by dupont and is led
1:18 pm
by former senator tom daschle. mr. daschle is with us here today. there he is. we're glad to have you here. it's made up from experts within food and agriculture. people like charlotte, the chief executive of the international food and trade policy which i believe is joining us today. the committee has been listening over the past months to people from across the food value chain, within the u.s., and around the globe, looking for areas that we can improve to help ensure that we have a sustainable and secure global food supply. there are going to issuing their report and their findings their summer. what i've learned so far in the process from the committees members confirms the need to deal with local innovation to deal with collaboration and creating lasting and meaning solutions. in the spirit of collaboration that brings me and number of my colleagues from dupont, including senior management from
1:19 pm
all three businesses, as well as corporate chief sustainability officer. we're hear to listen, we're hear to learn from this discussion, and we're really looking forward to it. i urge all of us here today to step out of our comfort zones, to listen to the various perspectives to see how we might work better with each other, and find ways to solve the challenges that faces us. i'm sure that none of us will agree with everything that's said today. with an open and honest dialogue, i'm certain that each of us can leave with things that we can do ourselves to help lead a sustainable, they -- affordable food supply. thank you again for being part of this dialogue. i'm now fortunate to turn the mike over to the deputy secretary of the u.s. department of agriculture. kathleen marrigan. [applause] >> good morning, everyone.
1:20 pm
great to be here. thanks to "the atlantic" for hosting the event. looks like a full house. they are still carrying in chairs. looks like wonderful and broad representation. i see folks, friends of mine from academia, halls of usda, business, journalism, nonprofits, tom daschle is in the house. what more do you need? i'm told "the atlantic" has near historic levels of participation for today's event. that's great. that's great. but it shouldn't come as a surprise really. it shouldn't. because today there's more interest in food and agriculture policy than, i think, any point since americans left the farm. some of you may have heard me tell this tale before, but it's absolutely true. in my younger years, i'd go to a party. people would say, kathleen, what do you do for work? i'd work in agriculture policy. there i'd be alone in my corner
1:21 pm
with gin and tonic. today i say that, and people roll the ball. they want to talk. you talk about the most influential persons in the world. i take that with a good sense of humor. what i want to point out, i was one of several people on the list last year, and the year prior that were involved in agriculture. and we can look through time magazine for many, many years and not see agriculture singled out. what that means is that food and food issues are in the public eye on multiple ways. you see dedicated television channels to food, best selling books, documentaries, my daughter can't get enough of "top chef" more and more americans are not only interested where the food comes from, how it's produced, who produced it. they want food with a story. there's also a common recognition that agriculture and
1:22 pm
the science behind it would be critical to addressing some of the worlds most pressing long-term challenges. we've already heard two speakers. i'm going to be the third. we're going to keep throwing it out there. how are we doing to produce enough food for the growing world population. center stage question. how can we raise the next generation to lead healthy, productive lives. in what role will agriculture play in confronting global climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and helping to provide renewable energy that we must increasingly rely upon. with all of these big issues out there, it's necessary that you have dialogues like you are going to launch today. and i must say, that you have a wonderful group of panelist and presentors making part. i'm hoping in the brief remarks here, i can help set the stage for them, not only by talking about the work that's going on at usda, but by posing some questions about where to look
1:23 pm
for future solutions. let me start by talking about healthy food and lifestyles. ensuring that america's children eat well and live healthy lives is among the great goals the usda. secretary vilsack is known about telling the stories when he sat down with president obama and issue of healthy eating, kids diets, school meals was there on the very short list for the president. and then you've got first lady michelle obama. i go around the country saying we have no better messenger about healthy kids and lifestyles. she has led an administrative wide effort. her let's move initiative is terrific. it's engaging public, private, and nonprofit worlds together. government, schools, everyone working on challenging
1:24 pm
institutions to do better and the issues around childhood obesity. i went to to the easter egg roll with my daughter. it was hot. it was wonderful because healthy eating and active lifestyle was all about the egg roll. that was the theme in every single booth that you went to. it was terrific. the passage of the healthy hunger free kids act last fall landmark legislation. it's really the major accomplishment so far of the let's move initiative. in my mind, it was very, very significant legislation. and at usda we're working diligently to implement the bill and make the first really big changes in years to school lunches and breakfasts that are consumed by tens of millions of children each day. these are issues many people feel passionate about. and we know there's a lot of work to do. the u.s. has received our
1:25 pm
comment period closed last week. we received about 130,000 comments on the proposal to include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dari -- low-fat dairy products, and less sugar, sodium, and fat. we want all of the support that we can get. the childhood obesity epidemic threatens the long term health of not only the community but the organization. in the tough times, i heard in the bio, over $149 billion budget. that's outdated. i'm curious how it will be by the end of the term. anyhow, in these tough budget times, we all recognize that we need to do the best that we can with limited resources. that's why usda has worked to bring a host of innovative tools and solutions to the problems. often at low, or no cost.
1:26 pm
so i want to throw out a few examples. we've expanded the healthier u.s. schools program to help improve the help of the whole school environment so that kids stay healthy and active during the day. by the way, my experience going around the country, visiting some of these schools that are outstanding in terms of what they do, it doesn't necessarily have a straight line tracking to socioeconomic debt. we're excited about having an increase in the reimbursement rate. not debating that. what i also see, it's really about innovative school leadership, it's about parents and communities getting engaged. and that's pretty exciting. it's not all about money. we've also released updated dietary guidelines acting as a simple tool for families making decisions about what to eat.
1:27 pm
we have invested in hoop houses. you may not know what it is. they are a temporary greenhouse like structure, that allows the farmer to get the crop in earlier, keep it later, so he or she can produce more locally grown food to market. what we've found that has had a surprising impact having more product available at farmers markets. farmers market of where we have had great partnerships with the philanthropic community. now there's more produce for s.n.a.p. recipients to purchase. we are also implementing a geographic performance of procurement provision to facilitate the growing popularity of farm to school programs. we've had a team around the country documents the success andpitfalls of what's been put forward to development a
1:28 pm
template. because i think that's an exciting effort on the horizon. in the past two year, we've taken a similar approach with legislative and other provisions when it comes to food access issues. the recovery act thought to help folk get through difficult time and generate stimulus with an monthly income of $40 on s.n.a.p.. and a report released today by the usda economic research service, found that fewer americans went without food in 2009, than 2008, suggesting the stimulus bill, the recovery act investment paid dividends in the fight against hunger. we have worked to reduce policy changes to make it easier for low-income families to get s.n.a.p. benefits. we ruled 1.6 million more last school year than the previous year by eliminating applications
1:29 pm
for low-income parents and reducing paperwork burdens on schools. we are proud of the accomplishments. they are the right thing to do. we are eager to continue this kind of delivery and effectiveness of our programs. at the same time, we are pursuing the most up-to-date science. we are employing the most efficient ways. just looking around the room, i know some of you come out of the hunger community, some of you come out of the obesity work. my students used to say, this is a policy paradox. those are not in conflict. they stem from the same route cause. that's lack of access. we have made nutrition and health a research priority. yesterday, usda announced $80 million to support childhood obesity prevention projects at universities and other research institutions across the united states. we're looking at behavior, eating habits, and intervention practices. and we're looking toward to
1:30 pm
advancing findings in the area, including a look at how access and price variation to healthy obvious unhealthy foods can affect food choice and help outcomes. i also want to address the s.n.a.p. program. and two what i believe are holy disconnected discussions taking place around it right now. some folks are looking at possible restrictions in what the programs funds can be used to purchase soda and the like, congress is considering changes that might block grant s.n.a.p. benefits to states and produce participation altogether. the congressional discussion of budgets and s.n.a.p. does preview what will be one the critical questions moving forward when it comes to provision. in a question that i hope can be addressed at today's discussion. how, how can we make the change that is we need to grow a healthy generation of children and take on the scorch of hunger given the limited resources
1:31 pm
available to us as a nation. let me turn to sustainability and feeding the world for a moment. so another important discussion taking place at usda in agriculture committees in the u.s. congress and publications across the globe centers around the question, how do we feed the global population of $9 billion? without radical trend changes, you know we'll have to increase food production by 70%. 70% by 2050. some wonder what other resources especially what land, water, and nutrients will be required to get us there. at usda, we are working to promote both the productivity and sustainable askture practices that will take from more than farmers and producers across the globe to contribute. a year ago, they put together a report that said incremental and transformative approaching had
1:32 pm
been necessary. we are pursuing both avenues to help building a -- build ag systems. the truth is in the last two decades, most if not all u.s. farms of all sizes have adopted measures to improve sustainability. in the last 30 years, the nation's producers have work hand in hand with government, officials and local conservation groups to reduce soil erosion by 40%. they have gone from being the leading contribute to to leading the restoration efforts. be mindful of the debates about cutting subsidies to farmers. in some of the calculations we they throw in the conservation programs. these conservation programs are really helping farmers and ranchers provide the public benefit that we need in terms of clean water, clean air, landscape, restoration, and in
1:33 pm
2010 we had about 21,000 land owners enroll in the conservation stewardship program. they put conservation easement on the land through the program. we put 25.2 million acres, about the size of the state of kentucky into the program to improve water and soil quality, enhance wildlife habitats, and address the effects of climate change. usda sustainable ag research and education program has also worked towards many of these goals for years. it invests in ground breaking research and education around sustainability to advance innovations and improve profitability, our environmentally sound, and good for communities. usda is working to consolidate research and measures around the very idea of sustainability. there are at least a dozen definitions of sustainable agriculture, tom daschle was very involved in writing the one in statue that usda follows that
1:34 pm
was in the 1990 farm bill. through there are so many standards out there, and it is hard to sort of figure out what's what. and so i want to just acknowledge that thanks to the leadership of dr. molly john who's here today and moving beyond the sustainability panel, the usda ag is working to cop a consistent data set that folks can use to evaluate and compare across the standard efforts and understand better their meaning for environmental sustainability. so on the transfortive approaches, we're really interested, these days, in looking at the potential of double cropping. and other efforts to expand growing season. we're interested in development of perennial grains, big seeds, high yields, these plants with deep roots to hold the soil in place and take up water and knew
1:35 pm
-- nutricents. recently they joined people around the world to parental grains and global food security and the environment. in it, they explained that recent advances in crop speeding may speed progress towards the challenging goal. so we are funding research and understanding the genetic basis of perennialism, and breeding perennial. and increasingly, the same perennials, in some cases grasses, not graining, such as biofuels while using minimum resources like land and water. on the subject of energy. let me say that in the long run, agricultures, contributions to energy production will focus on
1:36 pm
advance biofuels produced by nonfood crops, yet another transformational approach to sustainability that we are supporting at usda. while both incremental and more transformative approaches to sustainable will be important, just as important in promoting the dialogue between adherence of each approach. good luck today. to help improve sustainability, mainstream producers should be looking at experimenting with transformative systems like the perennial production, or perhaps elements of organic production, rotational, or more complex crop rotation. at the same time, less tradition nap producers can learn a lot about influencing the broader landscape in food system from dialogue with the mainstream. i'd like to challenge today's conversation to tackle not only ways to promote the dialogue, but to identify the various production models that work in american agriculture, and what they can learn from one another. this consideration is going to - this conversation is going to be
1:37 pm
critical if we are going to advance sustainability and support international food production among other things. other research will improve organic -- excuse me, agriculture productive by making plants were resilient to environmental stresses like drought and stress. we are studying preand post harvest to reduce crop loss, and study president obama's solution to help local diplomas to fight hunger. we recognize that production is not the only challenge. losses, access, usage, distribution, these are all important issues being confronted around the world. these issues extend from the local level. when farmers may not be able to package, process, or transport the food to who needs it to the international scale.
1:38 pm
when countries put up trade barrier that is prevent the food supply. i challenge you during the discussion of global food security to keep the issues in mind. so those are a few just easy challenges that i'm sure a talented group like you all in the room will be solved. i'll be looking for the forthcoming memo, giving the direction for the next few years. i'm cognizant of the sand running through the hour close. time is short. we are looking for all of the bold new ideas that you come up today. good luck with the proceedings. i guess i'm told i will take a few questions. is that correct? >> that is correct. >> i'm sure they are going to be easy ones, given this crowd. [inaudible comment]
1:39 pm
>> good morning. good to see you again, mrs. secretary. i'm katy, i'm with america's funds that grow hope program. one thing that we need to talk about more, i think, is engaging the general population on these issues. that's a matter of education end connectivity. we believe that gardening is a means to give people that direct connectivity and engage them in a conversation. so what i want to know from everybody, really, is what can we do to reintegrate gardening as part of the cultural fabric. it goes up in times of need, goes down in times of prosperity. it's up now because we're in a time of need. what can we do to keep it up so it remains part of our educational system and part of our daily lifestyles?
1:40 pm
>> i think we can began with our food lady with that garden out there on the lawn that everyone looks at at the easter egg roll, there was big thing about planting and gardening. i believe he's writing a book. i think the bully pulpit is being used. gardening is exciting. in my research at tuff we found that children engaged with garden-base the learning were more environmentally aware, and here's the kicker, their consumption were their attitude towards fruits and vegetables improved and their consumption, beyond what was grown in the garden. it was the moment, the engagement, that made quite a difference. now that work was published, it was one of very small handful of peer reviewed studies. i think we probably need more of
1:41 pm
that in order for people to make the kind of investments necessary. but as we talk about farm to school, we're also talking school to farm. really gets kids at a young age is a part of a report that will be coming out with later this spring. i think that you hit the nail on the head. i think gardening is a real opportunity not just for people to grow vegetables, learn more, it also gives us great insight into what it means to be a farmer. with, you know, less than 2% of americans on the farm and ranch, there's the whole -- we've forgetten as a nation what it's like to be a farmer that the an average has $950 wrapped up in lands and machineries. average combine cost $250,000. you get all of that risk, callal investment, the locust comes,
1:42 pm
literally, the rain comes, it doesn't come. when you are out there gardening as an individual, and you get mildew on your tomato, you can still go down to the supermarket and buy one. i think when it happens, people get a better insight on what it means to be a year-round crop producer and the risk inherent in the activity. i think i'm off of the hook. >>ly ask you one more question. then we'll thank you for being with us. particularly in an era when u.s. budgets are declining and under such pressure, how do you think about our responsibility in terms of helping to solve the global food problem? >> i don't think the responsibilities go away. i don't have the actual data in my head. i'm compelled by the studies that show what the average american citizens thinks the contributions are to the united states compared to the reality, what is the reality from the
1:43 pm
usda budget from the govern dole, for example, or title two, all of these programs. people think it's a monster share of our budget. and it's actually a very small sliver of the pie. they are very important. speaking as a woman leader in government, these programs around the world are so important for the livelihood girls and women generally. not necessarily in this country, but around the world, most of our farmers are women. so these programs are really important lifeline in so many different ways. i can't imagine the united states standing tall without them. thank you. [applause]
1:44 pm
>> for me with sony says we were protecting the consumers, the consumer might want to know, wait a minute, i too have the right to protection myself. all i'm asking and all i'm saying as a policymaker, should they know sooner? >> california representative mary bono mack on the theft of millions of consumers personal data from sony's playstation network on the communicators on c-span2. >> every weekend experience american history on c-span3 starting saturday at 8 a.m. eastern. it's 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. hear first person accounts on people who have shaped modern america. history book shelf features the history's best known writers and
1:45 pm
travel to important battlefields to learn about key figures and events that shaped an era during the 150th anniversary of the civil war. visit college charms as professors delve into america's past during lectures and history. join curators behind the scenes at museum and history sites and the presidency focusing on american president's policies and legacies as told through historic speeches and personal insights from administration officials and experts. american history tv all weekend every weekend. get the complete schedule online and sign up to have them e-mailed to you using the c-span alert. >> coming up in about 15 minutes, we'll bring you a conversation about the future of the congressional research service with the retirement of its long-time director. part of the library of congress, the crs provides nonpartisan analysis to lawmakers. live coverage on 2 p.m. eastern on the companion network c-span.
1:46 pm
>> c-span2 the u.s. senate is in
1:47 pm
shortly. >> first john ensign's farewell speech on the senate floor. >> mr. president, i rise today to deliver a difficult speech. this will be my farewell speech to the united states senate. serving as nevada's 24th united states senator has truly been the greatest professional privilege of my life. growing up with a single mom in very humble surroundings, i simply never imagined that one day i would end up as a member of such an adjust body as this.
1:48 pm
unfortunately, the amazing experiences that stem from the more than ten years of my senate service cannot be summed up in one single speech. i owe a humble thank you to many people who helped to get me here and who have served me effectively. from campaign volunteers, staff, donors, to some of the best people who i have ever worked, my senate staff. i cannot thank you enough for the honor of the past many years. each of you has helped me to achieve more than my individual talents alone could have ever accomplished. when i look back over my time, both here and in the united states house of representatives, i'm very proud of the many accomplishments that we together have been able to achieve. i would like to take just a moment to mention just a few. the beauty of the state of nevada has been greatly enhanced and protected for the enjoyment future generations because of my work in authoring the southern nevada public lands management act and several other important
1:49 pm
lands bills. because of these lands bills, nevada has been able to keep over $3 billion that has been raised for land sales in southern nevada. this is money that did not have to come out of the united states treasury. in the past, the land in nevada was exchained for public sensitive land around the state. as a result of the land bill that we worked on, we were able to instead auction the land, raising far more money than the state of nevada -- for the state of nevada than the land exchanges ever were able to do. this land revenue has been used to purchase sensitive land to protect it for future generations, but also to construct over 100 beautiful parks and trails in southern nevada. i cannot tell you how proud i am when i drive around las vegas and see so many families enjoying these beautiful areas.
1:50 pm
these lands build have made the great quality of life that we enjoy in nevada that much better. additionally, in northern nevada, my love of lake tahoe has been throughout the years. i've worked hard to make sure the beauty tranquil waters are just as beautiful decades from now as they are today. ore lands bill helped to achieve the goal. through the legislation, hundreds of millions of dollars have been devoted to preserve it's ecosystem and important fuel reduction projects around our state to help prevent catastrophic wild fire that is help the future of our state. additionally, i have been a passionate advocate for education reform. our lands bills have protected millions and millions of dollars to nevada schools as an endowment that our state will reap the benefits from.
1:51 pm
i would to thank senators reed and brian for their cooperations in helping draft the bill. i want to thank the members of my staff, especially john lopez, that worked to hard to turn legislation into law. speaking of legislation into law, i would like to highlight another accomplishment of which i'm so proud. as the only bipartisan provision in the so-called obamacare bill, tom harper and -- tom carper and i worked against powerful interest groups to get the behaviors act added. our provision was modeled after efforts by safeway in the private sector to help improve health care quality and reduce the cost of health care. essentially, our provision rewards people in the form of lower health care premiums for making healthy choices.
1:52 pm
such as quitting smoking. if we as americans continue to eat too much, exercise too little, and to smoke, it really doesn't matter what kind of health care reform we enact in this country, costs will continue to escalate. i hope that this provision will highlight the individual contribution that we can all make to reduce our health care cost. and certainly this legislation would not have become law if it were not for the spectacular job that michelle spence from my office did. as i mentioned earlier, i cannot list the number of things or the number of people on my staff who has helped me with legislation. we've accomplished a lot. i wish i could do it in just one speech. but it's not possible. i could speak at length about the fight for lower taxes, individual freedoms, production of constitutional rights, the dignity of our servicemen and women, education reform, and so
1:53 pm
much more. but there is not enough time. and i hope that my voting record and legislative record here in the united states senate will continue to speak for me longer -- long after i have left the chamber. i would like to speak, though, about a few observations that i have made through the course of my time here. when i first ran for office back in 1994, i was rather naive. i was also very idealistic. i simply wanted to make a difference in this great country. throughout the years, i may have lost my naivety, but i never lost my idealism. i still strongly believe that the united states is the greatest country in the history of world, and it is world fighting for and world protecting. i will leave this place knowing that there are some really outstanding people here who are just as idealistic, or maybe more so than i ever was. and they are willing to take the
1:54 pm
tough political vote that is are necessary to save this country from total bankruptcy. my prayer is that more people will join them in that courage. our children and our grandchildren deserve to have the same country that we enjoy and it is up to the house, the senate, and the white house to stand together with the american people to save the future of the united states from self-destruction. when i first arrived in the senate, i observed several people who were so caught up in their own self-importance and busyness that air gap literally dripped from them. unfortunately, they were blind to it. and everyone could see it but them. when one takes the position of leadership, this is a very real danger of getting caught up in the hype surrounding that status. often times, the more power and preteenage -- prestige a person achieves, the more arrogant a
1:55 pm
person can become. as easy it was to see if in other people, unfortunately, i was blind to how arrogant and self-centered i had become. i did not recognize that i thought mostly of myself. the worst part about this is i even tried not to become caught up in my own self-importance. unfortunately the urge to believe in it was stronger than the power to fight it. this is how dangerous the feeling of power andage jewlation can be. my caution to my colleague is to surround yourself about people will be honest about who you are and what you are becoming and make them promise to not hold back no matter how much you may try to prevent them from telling you the truth. i wish that i had done this sooner. but this is one of the hardest lessons that i've had to learn. i believe that if i had learned this lesson earlier, i would have prevented myself from
1:56 pm
judging two of my colleagues when i had no place to do so. when i was chairman of the national republican senate committee, i was confronted with the personal issues facing larry craig and ted stevens. following larry's admission and ted's guilty verdict, i called on both of them to resign. i struggled with these decisions afterwards. so much so that i went to each of them a few weeks afterwards and admitted whatdy was was -- t i did was wrong. i asked them for forgiveness. each of these men were gracious to forgive me, although i did not though them the same grace in public. i'm grateful to both of these men. when i announced my failure two years ago, larry craig was the first to call and express his support.
1:57 pm
i truly county -- truly cannot tell you what it meant then and means today. the purpose of speaking is a person understands mercy a lot more when they need it and when it was shown. this is a hard lesson to learn, but i hope that i can now show mercy to people that come into my life that truly need it. as i conclude, i have few others that i want to thank. my colleague from the state of nevada, senator reid, i ran against senator reid in 1998. he beat me by just a little over 400 votes. afterwards, when i two years later when i was fortunate enough to win the election. senator reid and i sat down and made a pact between us, we were going to get along, even though we were of different parties. we were going to put the path
1:58 pm
behind us and work together for the people of the state of nevada. funny thing happened along the way over these last ten plus years. senator reid and i developed a friendship. two people with opposite voting records, opposite views on major national issues, but we work together on a lot of issues that affected our state. friendship formed between our staff and a true friendship formed between senator reid and myself, and for that, i want to thank him. so my senate colleagues, i would like to take a moment to apologize for what you have had to go through as a result of my actions. i know that many of you were put in difficult situations because of me, and for that, i sincerely apologize. for my wife, darlene, she has been with me through many
1:59 pm
struggles, i cannot repay. i do not deserve a woman that like. i'm glad she's in my life. our children have never known anything than their dad leaving each week to come back to washington, d.c. for my week. all three of them are incredible, and it has been a blessing and privilege just to be their dad. i have also been very blessed with a great set of parents who have stood by me through thick and thin and also the rest of my extented family. i also have wonderful friends who have been there with me and my family through the highs and the lows. and lastly, most importantly, i want to thank god for allowing me to be here. i've been encouraged by some not to mention god because it looks hypocritical because of my own personal failings. i would argue that i have not mentioned him enough. i'm glad that the lord not only forgived, but he likes it when we give him thanks. lord, thank you for all that
2:00 pm
you've done in my life. i hope that i can do better in the future. i hope that i can learn to love you with all of my heart, soul, and strength, and to love others as myself. my colleagues, i bid you farewell. know that you will all be in my prayers. i yield the floor. >> senator john ensign from the senate floor last monday, the swearing of his replacement will be the first order of business when the senate gavels in. dean heller resigns his seat in the house to take the seat of mr. ensign. he has served in the house since 2007. also on the agenda, procedural vote on the nomination of james cole to the deputy attorney general. that's set for 5:30. live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2.
2:01 pm
will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. merciful god, take possession of our hearts so that we will do your will. use us for your glory as beacons of light and inspiration in our nation and world. we desire for your name to receive the honor it is due, so show us your ways and teach us your path. lord, be gracious to the members of this body showering them liberally with your wisdom.
2:02 pm
let your love fill and rule their lives preparing them for that bliss you will give to those who love you. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c., may 9, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3,
2:03 pm
of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable richard blumenthal, a senator from the state of connecticut, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: the ceremony will take place very shortly. the senate will be in morning business until 4:30 james cole to be deputy attorney general at approximately 5:30 there will be a cloture on the cole nomination. we were able to enter a nomination on edward chen. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
2:04 pm
2:05 pm
2:06 pm
2:07 pm
2:08 pm
2:09 pm
mr. reid: mr. vice president? the presiding officer: the -- the vice president: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask that the call of the quorum be terminated. the vice president: without objection. the chair lays before the senate a certificate of appointment to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former senator john ensign of nevada.
2:10 pm
the chair -- excuse me -- the certificate the chair advised is in the form suggested by the senate. if there is no objection, the reading of the certificate will be waived and it will be printed in full in the record. if the senator designee will present himself at the desk the chair will administer the oath. the vice president: do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental
2:11 pm
reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? mr. heller: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senator. mr. heller: thank you very much.
2:12 pm
the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
2:13 pm
quorum call: the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: h.r. 3 is at the desk. i understand it's due for its second reading. the presiding officer: a quorum call is in pr progress. mr. reid: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection.
2:14 pm
mr. reid: i'm told that h.r. 3 is at the desk and due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the bill for the second time. the clerk: to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions and for other purposes much. mr. reid: mr. president, i would now object to any further proceedings at this time. the presiding officer: the objection having been heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar under rule 14. mr. reid: mr. president, every time we have a peaceful transfer of power, at any level of our government, it speaks to the strength of our democracy. today is no different. today nevada welcomes their newly appointed senator, dean heller. until a few minutes ago, congressman heller, to this side of the capitol. nevada is still reeling from the wall street, we're looking forward to the new junior senator to make tough choices. the senate will soon -- the
2:15 pm
senate will soon confront one of those tough choices. we'll continue our conversation about how to save taxpayer money and lower our nation's deficit and debt. we have to recognize that we cannot do either so long as we keep giving away money to oil companies that clearly don't need taxpayer handouts. as gas prices and oil company profits keep rising, each senator will have a chance to stand with the millionaires or middle class. today the senate will today vote on whether to advance the attorney general's top deputy jim cole. the attorney general runs the operations day to day of the department of justice. he also supervises the national security division and makes critical decisions each day that affect the safety of our great nation. for instance, jim cole is one of the only people at the department of justice who can sign the critical warrants to permit our intelligence officials to conduct surveillance on suspected terrorists. in the last week, our country has been reminded of the incredibly important role our intelligence community plays. it's unthinkable that the
2:16 pm
partisanship and legislative poise of keeping a public servant as qualified as jim cole in an important national security role. i hope the senate will confirm him very quickly this evening. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: first, we just swore in our new colleague dean heller, and the majority leader is giving a reception for him this afternoon. we would hope that many members will take the opportunity to go by and welcome him to the -- to the senate.
2:17 pm
mr. president, on another matter, i'm going to devote my leader time this afternoon to an issue that may not be on the democrats' legislative agenda this week but which is certainly on the minds of most americans every day. i'm referring, of course, to the high cost of gasoline. all across the country, people are suffering from the runup in gas prices that we've seen over the past few months. it's squeezing family budgets, tightening margins at already struggling small businesses and imposes a mortal threat to any economic rebound. this is a critical issue. americans are looking for answers, and yet, all they're getting from the president and the democratic leaders in congress are gimmicks and deflection. we've seen this before. every time gas prices go up, democrats claim there is nothing they can do about it, then they propose something completely counterproductive just to quiet their critics.
2:18 pm
this time, it's a tax increase. that is the democratic response to high gas prices, a tax hike. well, the first thing to say about this proposal is that it won't do a thing to lower gas prices, not a thing. in fact, raising taxes on american energy production will increase the price of gas. oh, and it would also make us even more dependent on foreign sources of oil. now, that's not my view. that's the view of the independent congressional research service which concluded in march that the democrats' proposed tax increase on energy production would -- quote -- "make oil and natural gas more expensive for u.s. consumers and likely increase foreign dependence." it sounds like a brilliant strategy to me. beyond raising taxes, democrats insist there is nothing they can do about gas prices, but i think most americans feel differently. i think most americans believe it's time to stop talking about
2:19 pm
what we can't do and start talking about what we can do. and if the president and democrats in congress are truly serious about lowering gas prices and making us less dependent on foreign sources of oil, here are a few suggestions. first, if ever there was a moment to develop our resources here at home, it's now. for decades, democrats have resisted efforts to tap our american resources. then when gas prices go up, they tell us how many years it would take to get the product to market. it's time to take this excuse off the table by breaking this cycle. second, democrats need to allow energy companies to cut through the bureaucratic red tape that prevents companies that are authorized to explore here from getting to work and putting thousands of americans back to work. third, they need to stop penalizing america's producers
2:20 pm
with new fees and threats of tax hikes which only drive energy companies overseas and help our foreign competitors create jobs in places like venezuela. and they need to call an end to the antienergy crusade of e.p.a. in short, democrats need to throw away the old play book, throw that one away and face this crisis with a new kind of creativity, independence and common sense that the american people are demanding. democrats need to stop deflecting attention from their own complicity in our nation's overdependence on foreign oil. they need to stop paying lip service to the need for american exploration while quietly supporting efforts to suppress it. an end to the approach that hasn't changed, frankly, since the days of jimmy carter. just like carter before them, today's democrats are using the crisis of the moment as an excuse to push their own vision of the future with a windfall
2:21 pm
profits tax on energy companies, and just like carter before them, they have rightly been accused of bringing a b-b gun to the war. this is a serious crisis. it's time for serious solutions, solution that is create jobs instead of moving them overseas, solutions that decrease our dependence on foreign sources of oil rather than increase it, solution that is offer relief rather than mere rhetoric. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for debate only until 4:30 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the senator from arizona.
2:22 pm
mr. kyl: thank you, mr. president. i note that vice president biden was just here for the swearing in of our newest senator, dean heller from nevada, and i add my congratulations to now-senator heller joining this body. vice president biden has been kind enough to host discussions starting last week and going into this week and perhaps beyond with members of the senate and the house of representatives to try to find a way to reduce the huge debt that hangs over the united states. as a prelude, i'm sure he would put it, to the congress acting on the president's request that congress increase the debt ceiling. there have been generally two ways suggested on how to deal with our debt. many democrats believe that the wealthy in the united states don't pay enough taxes and that therefore one way to reduce the debt is for taxes to be
2:23 pm
increased especially on the wealthy. most republicans believe that's a bad idea, that since debt is our problem and we got into debt because we have been spending too much, that the better way for us to deal with the problem is to begin reducing our spending and to make sure that over the years, we are able to do that. there are a couple of interesting things that have just come out in the news recently that i think bear on this argument. a lot of folks wonder about the debt burden in the united states, and i just thought it was useful to point out the fact that last week, "the wall street journal" reported that the joint committee on taxation found that the percentage of u.s. households paying no federal income tax reached 51% for the year 2009. now, mr. president, i think that's the first time in the history of america that over half of americans don't pay federal income taxes. i don't think that's a good
2:24 pm
thing. while certainly people in the lower income brackets aren't able to pay very much in the way of taxes, i think even a very small amount, an affordable amount would be appropriate so that everybody has what they call skin in the game, so that everybody understands the relationship between the burdens and the benefits of government. and i would not impose a significant tax on the lower half or certainly not the lower 10%, but i think it's important for all americans to know that we all have a stake in this and that more than half of the people can't just expect the so-called wealthy to bear all of the burdens of government. but the question remains are american wealthy taxpayers undertaxed? and i think a useful measure to look at here is in comparison with other countries, for example. the oecd countries -- which stands for organization for economic cooperation and
2:25 pm
development -- are generally regarded as the most advanced economies in the world, and the united states is one of those countries. a study that is based on 2008 statistics found that the highest earning 10% of the u.s. population paid the largest share among 24 countries examined, even after adjusting for their relatively higher incomes. and it concluded, and i quote -- "taxation is most progressively distributed in the united states, the oecd study concluded." the bottom line here is that for a country to be competitive, the people who provide the capital for job creation, for economic growth have to have some capital left over after they have earned it in order to invest that capital, return it to their businesses, hire more people, be more productive, create more wealth and thereby provide for the families of the people who own the businesses and by
2:26 pm
earning more income increase the amount of revenue that the federal government and the state government takes in as revenues. republicans are very happy to concede that it would be helpful if the government has more revenues in order to help close this debt gap that we have. the question is how we get more revenues. we believe that more revenues are a function of a growing economy, and here, too, some statistics that just came out over the weekend, i believe it was, demonstrate thad we can actually delay the increase in the debt ceiling by some period of time because revenues to the federal treasury have been a little higher than previously expected. why? because the economy grew more than expected, and as people made more money, they therefore paid more in withholding and in federal income taxes. that's the way for the government to get more revenue, for the economy to do better, for americans to do better.
2:27 pm
so if you tax the people who are the ones likely to do the investing into businesses more, will you get more investment? will you get more federal revenue? well, you'll get a little bit more to begin with, but in the long run, you'll get less. one of the reasons it's not a good idea to tax the very people that we're referring to in this study is because half of all of the small business income reported is reported as part of the highest income tax bracket for individuals. in other words, small businesses don't pay as corporations, they pay as individuals, and when a small businessman has to report his earnings, he reports all of the income from his enterprise. now, a lot of that is business expense, but that's how he has to report it. and so you're talking here about half of all of that income reported being taxed at a higher rate if, in fact, the president and some of his colleagues had their way. that will reduce the amount of investment and growth in the economy and thereby make it
2:28 pm
harder for us to pay off this large debt. the advocates of a gigantic tax increase are really shortsighted therefore in assuming if they raise tax rates, they're going to get more revenues. that's what they tried to do in japan during the late 1990's, didn't work out. japan went back into a deep recession, and it's not going to be possible for them to generate existing revenue with their higher tax rates. so you can't -- the way you get robust growth is not with higher tax rates but lower tax rates. a rapidly expanding economy does create new jobs and income for investment and wealth-creating enterprises, and obviously some of that wealth flows back to the government and can be reduced -- can be used to reduce the debt. but the -- the policy tools that we decide upon in these negotiations will have a lot to say about how we're able to reduce the debt and whether or
2:29 pm
not part of that will be a result of economic growth in the future. and obviously, the point here is not just to have economic growth so the federal government can earn more in income tax revenue but to promote american prosperity and a better future for our families. so the question is will we most tax hikes that -- impose tax hikes that discourage investment or will we make the tax system more efficient and conducive to growth? i'd like to cite a couple of studies here that shows why it's most important for us to focus on reducing spending rather than raising tax rates. because spending cuts, not tax hikes, are the best way to close the massive budget gap and help to produce economic growth in our country. one study was performed by two harvard economists, and they determined -- i'm quoting now -- by studying large-scale fiscal adjustments by wealthy,
2:30 pm
developed countries from 1990-2007, they determined, and i quote here -- "spending cuts are much more effective than tax increases in stabilizing the debt and avoiding economic downturns." end of quote. moreover, they found -- again, i'm quoting -- "several episodes in which spending cuts adopted to reduce deficits have been associated with economic expansions rather than recessions." another study by two economists at goldman sachs, ben broadmant and kevin daly, spurned took another study. here's what they found -- and i quote -- "decisive budgetary adjustment as that have focused on reducing government expenditures have, one, been successful in correcting fiscal imbalances; two, typically boosted growth, and; three, resulted in significant bond and equity market outperformance. tax-driven fiscal adjustments,"
2:31 pm
they say, on the other hand, "by contrast typically failed to correct fiscal imbalances and are damaging for growth." so reducing spending was the way not only to reduce the -- the debt of the country but it also boosted growth, whereas tax-driven adjustments had exactly the opposite effect, failed to correct the fiscal imbalances and were damaging for growth. a final study, and i think this is interesting because it focuses on some of the -- what we think of big-spending countries. there -- this is the same two economists, broadbent and daly, and they pointed specifically to canada, sweden. and they pointed out cases driven by cuts in public spending. and sweden in particular, which is very famous for being a generous welfare state, was able to trim the size of government substantially, all of which suggests to me is it stockholm could do it, washington ought to
2:32 pm
be able to do it today. so the bottom line, mr. president, is that reducing the short-term deficit and stabilizing the long-term debt are critically important to american prosperity and living standards. and if do you it by reducing spending rather than increasing tax rates, you can also have the additional benefit of increasing prosperity not just for businesses and families but for the u.s. government, which would then make more revenue in the term -- in terms of income tax revenues. bottom line here is, as we work to forge this bipartisan compromise that everyone is looking to us to try to reach, we should bear these basic principles in mind, that cutting spending, not raising taxes, is the answer. mr. president, i'm going to ask unanimous consent to put two documents in the record. the first is a document that was published in the "national review" on-line dated may 9 called "the future of american prosperity," which i authored. and the second is a publication in the on may
2:33 pm
16 by fred kagan and kimberly kagan. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kyl: thank you. mr. president, since my time has just about expired, i'll simply describe the second document, which is i think one of the best statements that i've seen recently. fred kagan and kimberly kagan write about the result of the death of bin laden not offering an excuse to end the war in afghanistan or our other efforts against terrorists but rather suggesting that success will be -- will come to us when we understand the nature of the threat and maintain our efforts to root it out wherever it may be, whether that be in afghanistan, iraq, pakistan, yemen, somalia, or wherever. and i think it's an excellent piece and i depend to my colleagues -- i commend it to my colleagues as suggesting the way forward as we continue to fight the radical islamists who obviously would continue to visit ill on the united states
2:34 pm
and on other western powers. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: thank you, mr. president. i wanted to call to the attention of the senate the fact that a number of state legislatures, including our state legislature in my state of florida, have been in -- enacting election law bills that severely constrict the right of the people to express their vo vote. this has just occurred in the state of florida with the legislature adjourning in the early morning hours of saturday morning, enacting a bill that
2:35 pm
has been sent to the governor that will make it harder for the people of florida to vote, harder for them to have their vote counted, and harder for the people to be able to register to vote. now, common sense would tell you that what we ought to be doing is exactly the opposite, that it ought to be making things easier to vote and especially in a state like ours that went through that awful experience in november of the year 2000 when there was so many chaos -- when there was so much chaos, not only in the voting in the presidential election but then in the counting of the votes, and, of course, we all know how that ended up, bush v. gore in
2:36 pm
the united states supreme court that stob stopped the recount tt was proceeding. and because of that experience, to the credit of the state legislature, they started to make voting easier. for example, instead of just voting on election day, they had a two-week period for early voting, something that other states have been doing for some period of time so that people could go to designated polling places prior to election day. it certainly made it a lot easier on the supervisors of election, the very people that are charged with the responsibility of registering voters and then counting the votes because it spread the amount of people coming in to
2:37 pm
vote over time so that all of them weren't there just within a 12-hour period on election day. and this has turned out to be so popular in florida that half the people in the last two elections, half the voters voted prior to election day. well, can you believe that the state legislature has seen fit to cut the 14-day early vote period back to eight under the guise, well, we're going to make the amount of hours the same by giving the supervisor of elections discretion that they could increase the voting days on early votes from eight to 12 hours. but that's a ruse, mr. preside
2:38 pm
mr. president, because that means that the election supervisors are going to have to pay time and a half and those election supervisors are under the same kind of fiscal constraints that all the other levels of government are right now, and as a result, what's going to happen is that the voting hours are not going to be extended and the state legislature has just constricted the number of voting days from 14 down to 8. and, oh, by the way, they didn't let it run up right to the day before the election. they backed it off several days before the election would be the last day of early voting. now, why, why, when we want to make it easier to vote? well, don't -- doesn't the
2:39 pm
legislature and i hope the governor, who has this bill coming to him, don't they understand that it is a tremendous convenience to senior citizens to make it easier for them at their convenience, instead of having to stand in a long line on election day, that over a two-week period that they can go and vote in a designated place? well, is there some reason that they are trying to make it harder for senior citizens to vote? well, it could be a lot of politics in this but the fact is that they're making it harder to vote when, in fact, it ought to be the opposite. now, i wish that i could report to the senate that that was the only thing they've done but they didn't.
2:40 pm
they made it harder to register to vote. as a matter of fact, well-respected organizations like the league of women voters, for years and years have taken it as their responsibility to go out and try to register people to -- to vote. the league of women voters is a bipartisan -- no, it is a nonpartisan organization who has as its sole goal to try to promote activities that promote our democracy. here's what they did. they said, if you go out and register people to vote -- and under current law there's a period of something like a week and a half to two weeks that you can turn in the names that you've registered. no, no. this time what the legislature
2:41 pm
has done is said, if you don't turn those new registration forms in within 48 hours, you're going to be subject to a fine and possibly a criminal penalty. and the president of the league of women voters of florida, diedra mcnabb, has said in effect, what that means, is they will not put that onus on their members of a fine and a criminal penalty and, in effect, they will stop registering people ahead of time. now, what the election laws ought to do is do exactly the opposite. we ought to have laws that encourage the registration of voters to try to get more people to participate. but that's not what the florida
2:42 pm
legislature has done. it's done exactly the opposite. now, i wish i could report to the senate that that was the only thing that they've done but they did more. for four decades, florida has had a law in a highly mobile society, if you have moved and you go on election day to cast your vote and your registration address is different from the address that you show, for example -- that you registered to vote, maybe even a year ago but in the meantime you have moved and your documentation, say, your driver's license, shows your new address, for four
2:43 pm
decades the law of florida has said that a voter can change their address in the polling place to update that record, showing proper identification of who they are and their signature matches. not so now. the legislature of florida has just changed the law that if your address or if your name changes -- what happens if you got married in the last year and now your name doesn't match your registration name? you still want to vote. what's the legislature of florida done? they have now going to require you not to cast a ballot, you're
2:44 pm
going to have to cast a provisional ballot and you're going to have to have your authenticity certified after the fact. mr. president, the experience with provisional ballots in the last presidential election in florida in 2008 was that of the some 35,000 provisional ballots cast, 17,000, half of them, were not counted. and who are the people who have been operating and benefited by that law in florida for four decades? they have been people who have gotten married and their name has changed. there have been the mobile society that we live in that have moved and bought a new house or moved into a new apartment.
2:45 pm
in other words, all of us, us and our neighbors. and who especially else might have been the reason for the legislature of florida to change this four-decades-old law? because the last presidential election, college students in florida voted in record numbers. because college students in florida in the town of their college went down where they had their registration and yet their identification showed their -- their address as their parents home, not the registration address that they had registered in their college town.
2:46 pm
that's not making it easier to vote. that's not encouraging college students to vote. that's doing exactly the opposite. that is suppressing the vote. now, what i am reporting to the senate has been widely commented on in florida in almost every editorial page in the state of florida, with the bottom-line conclusion of what i have just said. it is trying to suppress the vote the by making it harder to vote, harder to register to vote, and harder to have one's votes counted as it was intended. so i have written the governor, and i have asked the governor to consider all of these things,
2:47 pm
mr. president. it is widely commented in the florida press that the governor will sign the bill; thus, constructing -- restricting, whatever us,whatever word you w, the right of the people to vote. if the governor does sign the bill or let it go into law without his signature, then our only other mechanism at this point, since there are five counties in florida's 67 counties that are under a watch list under the civil rights legislation of the voting rights act of 1965. it is my intention to encourage
2:48 pm
the department of justice, the civil rights division, to examine this legislation with regard to the voting rights act. and preparatory to that, i have sent a letter to thomas perez, the assistant attorney general of the civil rights division of the department of justice alerting him to this fact. and, mr. president, i have quoted in that letter -- i have quoted several supervisors of election, both democrats and republicans, that have said that cutting the early voting period 1from 14 dpais to days to 8 wiln
2:49 pm
fries a significant number of voters. that was what the supervisors, the elected officials in each of the counties, were telling me. and i want to quote a republican supervisor of election, deborah clark in pinellas county, the county of st. petersburg and clearwater, florida. this is what she said. "not allowing address or name-change changes on election day will create an undue burden on eligible voters." and she continues, "it will also result in long lines at the polls and discourage many voters from voting." end of quote from mrs. clark. it is self-evident. and this is an assault upon our
2:50 pm
democracy that should not be tolerated, but it happened, and it happened in the last week of the legislative session. and, mr. president, i hope -- i hope -- that there will be such an outcry that this legislative policy gets reversed. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. johanns: i rise today to remember a fallen hero, u.s. army specialist joseph temper. specialist temper was paced in eastern afghanistan in the area east of cabal bordering pakistan. this area is one of the areas where the fighting in the afghan war has been the most intense.
2:51 pm
specialist chemper was serving with the 101st special troops battalion of the 101st airborne division, one of the army's most elite units. he and four fellow american soldiers were killed in a suicide attack that ultimately took ten lives. specialist chemper had a long desire to serve his country and was rightfully proud of his commitment to defend and to protect. he is mourned by his parents, three sisters, two brothers, a fiance, and an infant san liam. i know his family is proud of him. they will always remember his spirit, his enthusiasm, his competitiveness, and his can-do attitude. they are the type of american
2:52 pm
family that constitute the pillars of our armed forces and are the reason our nation remains safe from its enemies. joseph's father, sergeant first class eugene chemper, has made service to the army his life's work. as an army recruiter, sergeant chemper had the unique experience of personally citing his son into the -- personally recruiting his son into the army. as a father and his a leader, sergeant chemper inspired both specialist chempe revment and his younger breer, private first class neaw chempe revment to wear the uniform of an american soldier with pride. the family laid their son to rest in nebraska on april 29, 2011. specialist chempe revment
2:53 pm
returned to his birthplace with value letter and honor having been award, both the purple heart and bronze star medals. i know i speak for all of my fellow nebraskans and all americans when i say that despite our sorrow, we are deeply honored that he served us. i cannot imagine the pain the chemper family is surveg today. the loss of a son unexpectedly in combat is one of the most extreme trials a parent or loved one could ever face. i know that words will not ease their hurt. i will end this tribute by saying what specialist chemper held close to his harkts so close that his family has inscribed it in a scrapbook that
2:54 pm
will one by be seen by his son and it readed, "when i stand before god at the end of my life, i hope that i would not have a single bit of talent left and i could say that i used everything you gave me." unquote. i hope he rests knowing that he died the bravest and most honorable death an american could. may god bless the chemper family, their father and son still serving in the armed forces, andal of our fighting men and women in harm's way. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
2:55 pm
2:56 pm
2:57 pm
2:58 pm
2:59 pm
3:00 pm
quorum call:
3:01 pm
3:02 pm
3:03 pm
3:04 pm
3:05 pm
3:06 pm
mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i would able to speak for up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, i wanted to discuss today the tragedy that has occurred in alabama and other states across
3:07 pm
the southeast as a result of the tornadoes that hit our region. in a 24-hour period between 8:00 a.m. in the morning on april 27 and 8:00 a.m. in the morning on april 28, the national weather service estimates there were a total of 312 tornadoes across the southeast. the worst outbreak previously reported occurred in april of 1974, and that was with 148 tornadoes. the birmingham-tuscaloosa f-4 tornado had a path with a maximum width of 1.5 miles and a length from tuscaloosa to the birmingham area of 80 miles. it stayed on the ground almost continuously; very unusual. it went through a number of populated areas and it resulted
3:08 pm
in -- that tornado alone resulted in 65 deaths. alabama's current death toll is nearing 250, with thousands injured. and, frankly, after seeing the damage in the affected areas, i'm amazed that we did not lose more lives. and as i talk to mayors and others on the ground, they say the same thing. i talked to the mayor in hackelburg today. i believe he was the one that told me that they were about 18 killed. he was pleased that it was that low. they were hammered with an f-5, the highest, strongest tornado that basically destroyed his whole town. he has all his businesses, including the distribution center for a jeans manufacturing
3:09 pm
company has been destroyed. it's very, very difficult for them to pay for anything. businesses who pay sales tax that go to the city have been damaged. he's made the point as a good example that he in histh little town of -- in this little town of hackelburg had $100,000 of emergency funds, and they have been on massive overtime for a week since the event. other costs are rising, and it's very difficult for him. i want to thank president obama for the quick response that he made to the tragedy. the people of alabama appreciated the fact that he and later cabinet members actually visited some of the devastated areas. we appreciate the quick action in declaring alabama and other areas a major disaster area.
3:10 pm
that does help in a lot of different ways. i also had the opportunity to be with him in tuscaloosa when he came there. mrs. obama, and she of course did a beautiful job also of talking to people who have lost so much and comforting them. also secretary napolitano came on sunday to the pratt city area in birmingham, along with several other cabinet members. they also, i think, got a real appreciation for the severity of the damage and reassured alabamans that help would be on the way in an appropriate fashion. it certainly will take for a number of our communities an integrated, coordinated state, local, federal response to get
3:11 pm
these communities back on track. that's why we have a federal emergency management agency. that's why we have moneys in the budget for these kind of things, although this one is a particularly damaging event, i have to say. as a ranking member on the budget committee, i'm aware that we have to be careful about how we spend money. we certainly don't have any money, not a dime, to waste. and i've got to tell you every time i've been there or i've talked to people on the ground, they tell me how impressed they are with the volunteers that are arriving from all over the country bringing food and water and helping people who are working, bringing chain saws to help clear roads and highways and driveways to people's homes. that has been a real encouraging thing. it makes me very, very proud to be from the -- to represent a group of people who have the
3:12 pm
integrity and work ethic and determining to overcome tragedy. it's been encouraging to me. having -- walking through the devastated neighborhoods less than 24 hours after the tornado, people were stunned at the damages and the complete loss of homes and belongings. many of the people felt themselves lucky to be alive. their entire roof was gone, most of the walls were gone, and yet somehow they came out with minor injuries or less severe injuries. others tkpourbgs not sur-- others of course did not survive. but it is always amazing to me in a tornado situation how a house can be just obliterated and persons come out of it with not-too-severe an injury.
3:13 pm
for that they were expressing great appreciation. it's a reflection, i think, of the faith these individuals have in a higher being that i think gives the courage to go on. one of the things that is perfectly clear, and that is that housing in some areas will be a critical matter. many houses are totally destroyed. nothing basically but a slab, a concrete slab left. because many mobile homes, manufactured housing were completely lost and not on a slab. and those homes have been rolled over and completely demolished or disappeared basically. so we're going to need to work in a way that fema has done before to provide emergency
3:14 pm
housing. some of that in the larger areas with more housing around -- and there's vacant housing in some of our areas -- ought to be moved promptly into that vacant housing that currently exists. some areas are just housing for individuals to move into. i was told today by two mayors that they have people in recreational areas -- gyms and that sort of thing -- using them as a place for shelter. we're definitely not where we need to be, yet fema trailers are being moved into areas of the state. that may have to be done. i wish we could avoid that step, but in many areas it cannot be avoided. avoided in the sense that to me the best way to handle a situation where a person's home
3:15 pm
is gone is to help them move as quickly as possible in what can be a permanent residence either through rental or purchase. the longer that person is in a temporary residence, they also are receiving often federal assistance. the longer they're in this temporary limbo circumstance, their life is less stable, and the federal government is spending more money. so money that could be utilized -- avoid being spent for temporary housing, if that could be used to facility permanent housing would be a more effective policy but it's not just easy. in some instances it just can't be done. initial reports indicate that alabama's losses may rival or surpass its $1 billion loss in
3:16 pm
hurricane katrina. that's a -- a factor that i -- you don't normally expect from tornadoes. and we will wrestle with those costs as we go forward. but dollar losses are nothing compared to the severe loss of life. we have a recordsetting loss of life. going through the rosedale court area of tuscaloosa, alabama, seeing first responders and volunteers who are frantically trying to help. and in particular they were searching for a missing young girl and they kept on and there was a large number of people there and throughout this area where metal was twisted and roofs were gone and no walls hardly were standing and materials were three feet deep on the floor of plywood, roofing
3:17 pm
and the like the they found that young child, but, unfortunately, it was too late. her life had been lost. so that's the kind of thing that's been happening throughout the state. our people are responding with courage and dignity and hard work and volunteers from all over the country and all over alabama are assisting. i was with the seafood group friday down from alabama, the seafood capital in many ways of the gulf of mexico. and they had been helped so many times over the decade from various hurricanes that came through they wanted to help. and so they brought large amounts of shrimp and seafood and their cookers were going to tuscaloosa and some of the areas out there and serving some of the people out there
3:18 pm
volunteering or emergency responders who were working to help in that neighborhood. that's the kind of thing that makes -- thing that makes you proud and make us all recognize the good that we have in our people. so, mr. president, i just wanted to share these thoughts and to note that i have filed a -- a resolution that deals with this disaster expressing the condolences of the united states and noting many of the factors that are senat relevant to thise and asking that this senate will pass this. i will note it has been cosponsored by senator shelby, my colleague from alabama, senator alexander and corker from tennessee, cocker and wicker, chambliss and isakson from georgia, and i understand others are signing on as we proceed.
3:19 pm
so i thank the chair for allowing me to share these thoughts. i thank the administration for helping to respond properly. i thank the volunteers from all over america that have come to our state to assist those in need. i would yield the floor and quote the absence of a -- and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
3:20 pm
3:21 pm
3:22 pm
3:23 pm
3:24 pm
3:25 pm
3:26 pm
3:27 pm
3:28 pm
3:29 pm
3:30 pm
mr. sessions: i ask consent to speak in morning business for up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without
3:31 pm
objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, i want to speak in opposition to the nomination of james cole to be deputy attorney general of the united states who we will be voting on a little later this afternoon. despite president obama's recess appointment of mr. cole, who had had a number of opposition statements in the committee and was not looking at smooth sailing, i do believe that we should oppose his confirmation and his permanent appointment. based on some concerns i have with his record, specifically his criminal justice view on the war on terror, which i believe is utterly wrong and his questionable decisions as an outside consultant for a.i.g.,
3:32 pm
the big insurance company that had to be bailed out to the tune of, i think, $170 billion in its last bailout matter. he was an independent consultant, supposed to be monitoring that company for other errors they had made previously, and so that -- that is a concern to me. i served 15 years in the department of justice as a united states attorney for almost 12 and as an assistant united states attorney, i respect the department, i love the department of justice, but i'm getting concerned about it and i'm not happy with some of the decisions and philosophy that are emanating from the department. i believe they do not reflect the highest standards and qualities that we expect from that great department, and this nominee has a lot of good
3:33 pm
qualities. i believe he has a number of strengths that as management has some experience in the department that i would give him credit for. but at this point in history, i believe that his approach, particularly to the war on terror, along with the attorney general's approach to the war on terror, are not good. i have just about had enough of it, and i'm just going to say this. i'm not voting for another nominee, and i'm not going to vote for this one who spent their time defending terrorists. before they go to the department, it's all right to defend an unpopular person, but 13-16 members of the department of justice, political appointees by this administration have had as their background defending terrorists, including the solicitor general who is going
3:34 pm
to be coming up, i guess, in committee this week, and also aclu. and so you get this much of a tilt in the leadership of the department, it gives me great concern that the great department i loved and respected is getting off base. so i think it's important to note that we are hearing warnings right now that one of the top priorities of the department of justice must be the recent warning we received that the terrorist groups -- quote -- "almost certainly" -- close quote, will try to avenge the death of osama bin laden and the continuing economic crisis that faces our country. i believe that the president should be nominating proven
3:35 pm
prosecutors, prosecutors of terrorists, frankly, for top positions in the law enforcement agency, the united states department of justice. i don't think we need any more terrorist defense attorneys. when i was united states attorney, i hired a lot of united states assistant attorneys. i look for proven prosecutors wherever i could find them. i didn't go around and look for people who spent their spare time volunteering to defend terrorists or writing papers defending criminals. that's just the way i see it, frankly. i have to be honest about it. so we have had this one, we have had that one, we have had another and another and another. now 13-16 have been appointed to the department of justice who have had this background. defending the unpopular is not disqualifying. we voted and i voted for a number of people in the department who have been involved in this kind of defense
3:36 pm
efforts, who file lawsuits against president bush. they really thought they were really doing something great. i guess they didn't turn down the evidence if it helped in any way lead to the location of osama bin laden, but we do have standards about how we should gather evidence and lines should not be crossed, but that doesn't mean we're not in a war. it doesn't mean that the people who are attacking us are common criminals that need to be tried in civilian courts. they're at war with us. bin laden said he's at war with us. he declared war on us. you don't treat prisoners of war, captured enemy combatants like you treat common criminals. this is fundamental. i served in the army reserve a number of years, some of that
3:37 pm
time as a j.a.g. officer. i taught prisoners of war, how to treat prisoners, what the standards of the field manual are. don't claim to be a great expert at it, but i did it, had some experience in it. mr. cole consistently, some of these nominees to the department take the view that terrorists are criminals and not unlawful combatants. let me just say briefly, if you catch a person, a murderer, a rapist or a -- any kind of criminal virtually of any kind, when they're taken into custody, as the presiding officer knows who is a good prosecutor
3:38 pm
himself, they have to be, before you can interview them, once they are in custody, you have to give them miranda warnings. that authorizes, tells them -- basically, it tells them you don't have to make any statements at all. it basically says if you're an idiot, you'll make statements. you're entitled to a lawyer. if you don't have any money, they'll appoint you a lawyer. you have to go before a magistrate in a matter of hours. you're entitled to discovery of the government's case in short order and you're entitled to a speedy trial, and you're entitled to prowl around in the government's case and find all the evidence that the government has. whereas in war, that's not so. a classic case with ex parte inquirying in world war ii where german saboteurs were dropped off on our coast from a submarine and they were going to sabotage the united states of america. they were apprehended, taken to
3:39 pm
military tribunal, tried and executed in a matter of months, and the case went to the supreme court ex parte querin and was affirmed. there has never been any doubt that unlawful combatants can be tried for their crimes in military courts. it's done all over the world. it's an established principle. now, let's get one thing straight. if you're a lawful combatant and you are captured on the battlefield, whether you're a japanese soldier or a german soldier or an italian soldier and you have complied with the laws of war and you wear your uniform and you don't attack deliberately men, women and children, civilians and try to kill them and you comply with other rules of war, you can't be tried, you can just be detained
3:40 pm
until the war is over, but you don't get lawyers. you don't get trials and discovery and all of that sort of thing. but if in conducting your military campaign, you violate the internationally respected laws of war, you cannot only be held as a prisoner of war, but the nation that's holding you can try you for violation of the laws of war. so that's how these 9/11 attackers who didn't wear uniforms, who attack deliberately civilians perfectly fit to be tried as war criminals, unlawful warriors. at war, nevertheless, they have announced their intention to destroy the united states, to attack the united states. they said they were at war with us, but they have done it in an
3:41 pm
unlawful way and they can be tried in military commissions. this allows the military to conduct interrogation according to the laws of war, and over a period of months even. years even. and sometimes after months a prisoner will start talking. you never know why they start talking. but to deny ourselves the right to allow those kinds of things to happen, to say that we have to try these individuals like malid sheikh muhammed in civil court is clearly an error. that's the attorney general's position. he testified about it last week when i questioned him before the judiciary committee. he indicated -- he said it still remains the policy of the department of justice that persons who are arrested as
3:42 pm
terrorists are presumed to be tried as in civilian court. although congress has passed a law prohibiting moneys to be expended for that on the 9/11 attackers and the attorney generals in a huff had to say that khalid sheikh muhammed will be tried in guantanamo under military procedures as a -- an unflawfl combatant. but he doesn't like it, that's not his view. it looks like everybody he wants to hire to be in the department of justice agrees with that erroneous view. it's not a close question. this is not a close question. there is no reason a terrorist who is apprehended in the united states ought to be provided lawyers and miranda warnings.
3:43 pm
they are combatants. they are not common criminals. and thinking this way has caused dangerous confusion. as our troops and intelligence community continue to work night and day to keep our country safe, it's imperative that we view the war on terror as a real war and not a criminal matter and regard those who wish to perpetrate terror on this country as enemy combatants, not plain criminals. like many in the administration, mr. cole disagrees. in 2002, after 9/11, not long, he wrote an op-ed, published it, criticizing then-attorney general john ashcroft's decision to try the 9/11 terrorists in military commissions. they researched the law. attorney general ashcroft knew what he was doing. they decided they were going to try these individuals by
3:44 pm
military commissions. at his hearing -- but he had written an op-ed attacking the attorney general for it, so now that's the man we have got to nominate for deputy attorney general of the united states. at his hearing last congress, mr. cole repeated a prevailing and confusing justice department position that decisions regarding whether captive terrorists should be tried in civilian courts or in military commissions -- quote -- should be made on a case-by-case basis based on all the relevant facts and circumstances available at a time of a suspect's capture." close quote. is this going to happen in yemen? afghanistan, pakistan, wherever else they may be? in the united states? it's not a practical policy,
3:45 pm
because you have to tell the individuals who are making the apprehension what the rules are. and as the attorney general said, they still adhere to the view that the presumption is that the individual will be tried in civilian court. therefore, the presumption is that within a short time of their being taken into custody, they should be given miranda warnings, offered a lawyer and set for a preliminary court appearance, which could reveal to all the other terrorists exactly that their partner in war has been captured. and allow them to escape. so it's just a wrong view. and why they persist in this is beyond my understanding. congress understands it. the american people do also. this administration has established a policy that declares there is a presumption of civilian trials and -- but
3:46 pm
has -- and has failed to articulate a clear policy for designating captured terrorists as enemy combatants or criminals. so i'm -- i remain very unconvinced that the next captured terror suspect will not be given the rights of a common criminal and told he has the right to remain silent, to the detriment of crucial intelligence gathering. 9/11 commission, in one of their most significant findings, was that intelligence gathering, intelligence possession about what the enemy is doing is "the" best way to protect our country, not prosecuting them after the fact. so telling someone they have a right to remain silent and they've got a lawyer that's going to insist that they not make any statements, does that help us gather intelligence?
3:47 pm
well, if it's required by the u.s. constitution, we will do it. we'll just plain do it, regardless, but it's not required by law, history or the constitution. law, history and the constitution allows them -- these enemy combatants to be tried in military commissions and they don't have to be given miranda warnings, which was a court created rule a number of years ago that never was understood before and is not practiced, to my knowledge, in any other nation in the whole world. and, of course, all of this provides poor guidance for our law enforcement, military and intelligence officers as they go about our -- their efforts, and it's a grievous and dangerous mistake to continue this policy. it seems to me that mr. kohl and attorney general holder are cut
3:48 pm
from the same cloth on this issue. i'm uneasy about these two individuals holding the top two positions in the department of justice. and now the solicitor general seems to be the third one that will be coming along as one of the highest-ranking people in the department. their policy views appear to control the department of defense. in other words, if they say this is the rule, the department of defense has to give the miranda warnings and so forth if they're involved in a capture and it directly controls the f.b.i., which is part of the department of justice. as the acting second in command at justice department, mr. cole would play a lead role in decision making in the terror prosecutions throughout the country. the justice department's continued insistence on a
3:49 pm
presumption of civilian trials for terrorists confirms my concerns that mr. cole has adhered to the failed pre-9/11 law enforcement approach to terrorism, approach that the 9/11 commission and the nation as a whole recognized was in error and should be changed. i thought we clearly made that move. apparently we haven't. also of concern, from 2003-2007, mr. cole represented a saudi prince against insurance carriers and september 11th victims who alleged that the saudi prince helped finance terrorists. reportedly, mr. cole's client was linked through treasury department documents to the financial support of extremist groups through the al harah mane foundation, a saudi charity that has diverted funds to al qaeda
3:50 pm
before and after 9/11. while attorneys are free to and should be free to represent unpopular clients, mr. cole is one in a long line of political appointees at the department of justice who seem to me to have made questionable choices -- seem to be questionable choices for the key post at the agency that's charged with defending our national security, given their previous efforts to defend those involved in attacking the united states or killing americans. according to press reports, at least 13 to 16 current obama administration political appoint eedz, including the -- appointees, including the current solicitor general nominee, who represented jose
3:51 pm
pedilla, the shoe bomber, or suspected terrorists or enemy combatants being held in detention or to left-wing organizations who actively sought to reverse bush administration antiterrorist and detainee policies, policies th that, i might add, were a contributing factor to the elimination of bin laden and many other terrorists through this past decade. i'm curious to know if they've appointed anyone to key posts in the department of justice who's ever prosecuted a terrorist. i'd like to know that. maybe they have. surely somebody has. but it looks odd to me that so many of those who've been on the other side have been given top appointments. and i'm very disappointed in another subject with this administration's abdication of its duty to defend
3:52 pm
congressionally enacted laws. specifically, the defense of marriage act. the attorney general has stated that the president decided -- attorney general holder -- that the president had decided that he would no longer defend this law. review the -- after reviewing the attorney general's recommendation that doma falls under the exception in which -- quote -- "the department of justice cannot offer a reasonable argument in defense of the statute's constitutionality." well, it's been defended and upheld by a number of courts. how do we just waltz in now and decide we're not going to defend a congressionally enacted statute signed into law by president clinton because they don't like it?
3:53 pm
that's what it appears to me. the administration apparently came to this conclusion after unilaterally deciding that -- quote -- "classifications based on sexual orientation warrant heightened scrutiny." in the face of precedent from 11 circuit courts of appeals holding that such classifications should be reviewed under the much lower normal rational basis standard. there's a very big difference between refusing to defend the law that the administration regards as unconstitutional and refusing to defend a law that the administration opposes on policy grounds. the presiding officer: 15 minutes. mr. sessions: mr. president, i would ask for one additional -- ask unanimous consent to speak for one additional minute. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, the department of justice is a great department and they have some
3:54 pm
very, very fine people there. i know mr. cole has some good qualities. i supported mr. holder for attorney general. but i'm very uneasy about the direction the department is taking on a large number of issues, and i believe one of the reasons this is happening is because they've surrounded themselves with a group of leftist lawyers, activist lawyers who don't operate according to the more traditional views of law and justice in america. that's my view. other senators may disagree. that's my view. and i would just say that i'm not able to support mr. cole for that and the reasons i've stated and i hope in the future that the administration will appoint more nominees that have proven records of independence, effective prosecution and commitment to law. i thank the chair and would yield the floor.
3:55 pm
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. a senator: mr. president, i greatly respect my friend from alabama, senator sessions, and i simply have come to a different conclusion with regard to jim cole. i worked with jim cole. i was part of a legislative committee in the house of representatives that had to do some very difficult work on an ethics issue involving a former speaker of the house of representatives. mr. cardin: it was a tough decision to bring together six members of the house, three democrats, three republicans, and to do it in a way that would maintain the nonpartisan requirements of an ethics investigation. the atmosphere was very partisanly charged around the work that we were doing. i know this sounds familiar because people in maryland and connecticut and around the nation understand that we're
3:56 pm
working in a very partisan environment here and they expect the people that are charged with the department of justice to work in a nonpartisan manner. this is not a partisan position, the deputy attorney general. this is a person who is working with the attorney general as the nation's lawyer. and we want somebody who has the experience, someone who has th the -- the character and commitment to carry out this very important position. as i said, i've known jim cole. he has 13 years experience within the department of justice as a public interest attorney. that's been the largest part of his professional career has been the service of public interest. and he's always followed policy, not politics. he has a very distinguished career in law and he's the type of person that we would like to
3:57 pm
see within the department of justice. as i pointed out, i worked with jim cole when i was in the house of representatives. we worked on a very difficult investigation involving the former speaker of the house of representatives who at the time was speaker. the ranking republican, actually the chairman of the committee, was porter goss, a republican from florida. porter goss's observations of jim cole was that he was a brilliant prosecutor, extraordinarily talented. and then mr. goss goes on to say that over time he brought our committee to a bipartisan cooperation, which was desperately needed in order to successfully complete that matter. at the end of the day, the six of us came together in a unanimous recommendation. that's the type of person that jim cole is.
3:58 pm
he was professional and put policy ahead of politics. senator -- former senator john danforth evidence is at jim cole's confirmation hearing. a former republican member of the united states senate. he called jim cole a lawyer's lawyer. jim cole has support from democrats and republicans, former high officials within the department of justice have all recommended -- we have former deputy attorney generals appointed by both republicans and democrats supporting jim cole's nomination for deputy attorney general. let me just quote one other person i'd hope would be greatly respected on both sides of the aisle and that's fred fielding, the white house counsel for george -- for former president george w. bush. he said that mr. cole combines all the qualities you want in a
3:59 pm
citizen public servant. he understands both sides of the street and is smart and tenacious and is a person of unquestioned honor and integri integrity. that's what fred fielding, the former white house counsel to president bush, said about jim cole. jim cole is supported by former r.n.c. officials and d.n.c. officials because he's not partisan. he's a nonpartisan person who's put public interest law as his top priority. i was listening to senator sessions talk about terrorism. we've had a spirited political debate that's taking place in this country over the best way to bring terrorists to justice. mr. cole, however, will always put principle over politics and he is committed to evaluating each case and manner that comes before him based on the facts and the law.
4:00 pm
that's what you'd want from the department of justice. they're the values and the character that we want in our nation's department of justice. and jim cole will bring that to the department of justice, already brought it to the department of justice. the bottom line about mr. cole's approach on fighting terrorists is one i believe we all believe in. we're a nation at war with al qaeda and taliban and their associated forces. we need a tough, aggressive and flexible policies that recognize the paramount importance of providing the president with the ability to use all of the lawful tools, all of the lawful tools of our national power to protect american people and bring terrorists to justice. jim cole believes in that. he's committed to working with the congress, so that we use all available tools, we make the judgment in each individual case as to where it's the most
4:01 pm
effective way to bring a terrorist or criminal to justice. he not only has expertise in handling terrorists and bringing them to justice, he's had very important positions in the department of justice supervising the criminal prosecution of white-collar crimes. he understands the full breadth of the department of justice, and it i is a very valuable plan making sure the department of justice follows in the fine tradition of that agency. i just urge my colleagues to vote to move forward. at least vote to allow that this nomination get an up-or-down vote. this is a very important position, the department attorney general. we talk about we were sent here to washington to make tough votes. okay. i don't think this is a tough voavment i think jim cole is the
4:02 pm
best person for this critically important job, and i don't think he is at all a partisan person. i know him well. i know him to be a career-type individual who is interested in doing the right policy. but this is not a nominee where you should be using a filibuster to prevent an up-or-down vote. this is a very important position for our country. the di dignity of the senate and the department of justice and the deancy of jim cole, i urge my colleagues to allow us to go forward with an up-or-down vote on his confirmation, and i urge my colleagues to support this confirmation to be deputy attorney general of the united states. with that, mr. president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum and yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
4:03 pm
4:04 pm
4:05 pm
4:06 pm
4:07 pm
4:08 pm
4:09 pm
4:10 pm
4:11 pm
4:12 pm
4:13 pm
4:14 pm
4:15 pm
4:16 pm
4:17 pm
4:18 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: mr. president, i know we're in morning business. i ask to speak on the nomination of james coal to be deputy attorney general. james cole to be deputy attorney general. i rise in opposition on the nomination of james cole to be deputy attorney general at the department of justice. i oppose proceeding to a vote on the nominee for a number of reasons. i've been concerned regarding mr. cole's qualifications and am troubled by president obama's recess appointment of mr. cole to this position. i have been consistent in my opposition to recess appointments over the years that i was chairman of the senate
4:19 pm
finance committee under a republican president. i had the same rule in mind. when the president bypasses the senate by making recess appointments, such nominees will not receive my support. we have a process in place for nominations, and if the president isn't willing to work with senators to clear nominations, the nominee shouldn't get a second bite at the apple. in addition to my general opposition to recess appointments, i have consistently warned this administration that i would not cooperate in moving nominees from the department of justice until they cooperate with my requests for oversight materials. last night, or last month i went to the floor to describe what i have learned in the course of my investigations into whistle-blower allegations at the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. according to whistle-blowers,
4:20 pm
guns found at the scene of the murder of brian terry had been purchased illegally a year earlier with the blessing of the a.t.f. as part of an operation known as fast and furious. i first asked about this issue on january 27. on february 16, i requested specific documents from the justice department. i reiterated that request on march 3. when the justice department failed to produce any responsive documents, i partnered with the house oversight and government reform chairman darrell issa who first requested documents and issued a subpoena to the a.t.f. after his voluntary request was ignored. on february 13 my staff learned that the justice department was making certain documents available for chairman issi's
4:21 pm
staff to review at the department. not only did the department fail to notify me of this document review when i sent two of my staff members to participate in this, they were turned away at the door of the justice department. to this day the justice department has still not produced a single page of documents in response to my inquiries and has provided only previously released documents in response to chairman issa. i received a letter on may 2 of this year declining to provide my staff with access to documents on the grounds that -- quote -- "the executive branch has taken the position that only a chairman can speak for the committee in conducting oversight work." end of quote. i'd like to quote from the district of columbia circuit court of appeals on this issue. quote -- "it would be an inappropriate intrusion into the legislative sphere for the court to decide without congressional direction that, for example,
4:22 pm
only the chairman of a committee shall be regarded as the official voice of the congress for the purpose of receiving such information as distinguished from its ranking minority member, other committee members or other members of congress. each of them participates in the lawmaking process. each has a voice and a vote in that process, and each is entitled to request such information from the executive agencies as will enable him to carry out the responsibilities of a legislator." end of quote. that's from murphy vs. the department of army, 1979. i said on the floor on april 14 this year that if the justice department did not cooperate and provide the information we need, i would consider exercising my right to object to unanimous consent requests on a nomination. since that time i've received
4:23 pm
nothing but stonewalling from the department. as the chief operating officer of the department, mr. cole is in a position to ensure the justice department meaningfully cooperates with my inquiries and complies with my document request. he has failed to do so. i also am troubled by the department's continued resistance to oversight requests from senator chambliss, vice chairman of the select committee on intelligence. senator chambliss has requested the department of justice share information documents -- no, share important documents with congress regarding the guantanamo bay detainee review task force. this task force reviewed the case files of many detainees that were released or transferred from u.s. custody. unfortunately, we now know that over 25% of those detainees later returned to fight against
4:24 pm
america or our allies. these documents are part of a legitimate exercise of our constitutional duty to conduct oversight. the department's repeated stonewalling of senator chambliss' request should not be rewarded with a cloture vote on a controversial nominee. the deputy attorney general is second in command at the justice department and responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department. managing this fast bureaucracy is a difficult task that requires a serious commitment to protecting our national security, enforcing our criminal laws and safeguarding taxpayer dollars. we need a qualified individual to fill this slot, an individual who possesses the ability not only to provide leadership for the department, but also an individual who has the smarts, the capability and the willingness to manage department
4:25 pm
programs and root out inefficiencies and abuse in these programs. after reviewing all those responses and hearing testimony, i concluded that i could not support mr. cole's nomination to be deputy attorney general. in particular, i'm seriously concerned about mr. cole's views on national security and terrorism. back in 2002, mr. cole was author of an opinion piece in "legal times." in that piece he stated -- quote -- "for all the rhetoric about war, the september 11 attacks were criminal acts of terrorism against a civilian population, much like a terrorist acts of timothy mcveigh and blowing up the federal building in oklahoma city or omar abdel rahman in efforts to blow up the world trade center. the criminals were successfully
4:26 pm
tried and convicted under our criminal justice system bout the need for special procedures that alter traditional due process rights." but he went on to say this -- quote -- "the acts of september 11 were horrible, but so are other things." end of quote. the other thing he referred to were organized crime, rape, child abuse and murder. mr. cole's opinion piece argued that not withstanding the involvement of foreign organizations such as al qaeda, we have never treated criminal acts influenced by foreign nationals or governments as a basis for -- quote -- "ignoring the core constitutional protections ingrained in our criminal justice system." mr. cole concludes his opinion piece by arguing that in addition to stopping future terrorist attacks, the attorney general is a criminal prosecutor and that he has a special duty
4:27 pm
to apply constitutional protections ingrained in our criminal justice system to everyone, including terrorists captured on foreign battlefields. mr. cole wrote this opinion piece two days short of the first anniversary of the september 11 attacks. given the close proximity in time to the september 11 attacks, we must understand this opinion piece to be mr. cole's true beliefs about the application of the civilian criminal justice system to terrorism cases, including those who masterminded the 9/11 attacks. from the opinion piece and his responses to our inquiries, it appears that if given a choice of prosecuting high-ranking terrorists in civilian courts or military commissions, mr. cole would likely favor civilian courts based upon his long-standing belief in the role the attorney general plays in protecting the principals of the
4:28 pm
criminal justice system. absent a clear statement from mr. cole about what factors would warrant selecting these civilian other military forums, it is hard to look at his testimonies and responses to our questions and reach a different conclusion. military tribunals have many advantages to civilian criminal courts and are better equipped to deal with dangerous terrorists and classified evidence while preserving due process. i'm troubled that mr. cole does not appear to share this belief. based upon his responses and testimony, i have serious doubts about mr. cole's support for civilian trials for terrorists captured on foreign battlefields given that the deputy attorney general oversees the national security branch of the justice department. second, i have concerns about mr. cole's ability relative to
4:29 pm
oversight of government programs. first, in his responses about this oversight of d.o.j. grant programs, mr. cole failed to commit to a top-to-bottom review of the programs. we had enough examples of the tremendous inefficiencies, duplications and waste in these programs. i'm disappointed that mr. cole has failed to recognize that there is a need for comprehensive review of the department of justice's grant program not only for the sake of saving taxpayers' dollars, but also to ensure that grant objectives are being met in the most efficient and effective manner possible. third, i do not have confidence regarding mr. cole's abilities based on his peformance as an independent consultant tasked with overseeing a.i.g. by the way of background, the justice department provided copies of the reports mr. cole issued when he was overseeing a.i.g. but they were labeled -- quote
4:30 pm
-- "committee confidential." end of quote. consequently, i cannot discuss within a specific manner the context of those documents publicly. nevertheless, when taken into context with the public responses provided by mr. cole to my questions, a troubling picture develops about mr. cole's peformance in his independent consultant responsibilities. the responses and reports do not dispel the serious questions raised about mr. cole's independence and completeness. further, they reveal what appears to be a deference to a.i.g.'s management one would not expect to see from someone tasked as quote, unquote, independent mont omplet in order to clarify a number of questions on this matter, senator coburn and i sent a followup questions.
4:31 pm
mr. cole's reply clarified that d.o.j., s.e.c. and -- and the new york state attorney general's office were aware of his practice of seeking input from a.i.g. and making modifications to the report. he indicated that the changes a.i.g. made were often factual changes such as a.i.g. employee names, dates of materials, and events. he also indicated that some of the changes requested by a.i.g. were included in a section of the report entitled quote, unquote, a.i.g. response. however, he said that quote, unquote, on a few occasions, a.i.g. would -- quote -- "suggest a stylistic change of phrasing in the analytical section of the report." he stated that while included the edits made by a.i.g., he -- quote -- "did not believe that a
4:32 pm
detail press taiftion this factual -- presentation of this factual review process was necessary to an understanding of each party's position." as a result, the report did not necessarily show which edits a.i.g. made that were incorporated. instead he said that those changes were available in working papers that were -- quote -- "available to the s.e.c., the d.o.j., the new york attorney general's office." unfortunately, he added that -- quote -- "the agencies which were aware of this practice did not request such documents." while i appreciate mr. cole's responses to these clarifying questions, they raise concerns about how independent his monitoring was, what changes were ultimately requested by a.i.g., what changes were included and how much the s.e.c. and the d.o.j. really knew about edits a.i.g. was making to the independent reports.
4:33 pm
finally, i have serious concerns about mr. cole's decision to suspend the compliance review at a.i.g.'s financial products division following the government bailout. in his testimony mr. cole acknowledged that following the government bailout of a.i.g., he scaled back his efforts until the future of a.i.g. as -- as a corporation was determined. after mr. cole suspended his monitoring, a.i.g. restructured its compliance office an terminated a number of staff overseeing the company's compliance with the securities exchange commission's regulations. mr. cole said that after it was determined that a.i.g.'s financial products division would not be resolved and compliance and monitoring were -- quote -- "revived and are being viewed and implemented where applicable." under mr. cole's watch a.i.g. not only got $182 billion of
4:34 pm
taxpayer's money, it was able to talk the independent consultant, mr. cole, out of monitoring what the company was doing. based upon these factors, i'm concerned about mr. cole's ability to perform the duties required of deputy attorney general. in the position he would be -- he would be in a position to potentially influence future compliance monitors appointed under settlements between the justice department, the security and exchange commission and other corporations that have violated the law. independent monitors need to be truly independent and completely transparent. they are selected and appointed to ensure that the interest of the american people are protected. i cannot support the nomination of mr. cole to be deputy attorney general and, therefore, will vote against cloture. i urge all of my colleagues to join me in opposing this cloture vote to send a message to the justice department to stop the stonewalling of legitimate
4:35 pm
oversight inquiries from members of the united states senate. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination which the clerk will now report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, james michael cole of the district of columbia to be deputy attorney general. the presiding officer: under the previous order there will be one hour of debate equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. mr. grassley: mr. president, i would yield 10 minutes to the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: i thank the senator. mr. president, in less than an hour this body will be asked to vote on cloture to proceed to the nomination of james cole as deputy attorney general. i rise in opposition to that cloture vote on the nomination of james cole and i urge my
4:36 pm
colleagues to strongly oppose that. as a member of the senate intelligence committee, i share the views of the vice chairman, senate chambliss, and the ranking member of the judiciary committee, senator grassley. as expressed in their letter to republican colleagues dade may 6 -- dated may 6, 2011, opposing cloture on this nomination. i would ask at this time to enter this letter into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. burr: mr. cole's nomination is troubling on several fronts, first, the department of justice where he now serves as second in command since his recess appointment this past december refuse to provide the senate intelligence committee with documents we have been requesting for months. more than two years ago the intelligence community learned that the recidivism rate, the number of prisoners that we release to go back into the fight at gitmo had raised to
4:37 pm
11%. today it stands at over 25% in its effort to close the detention facility at gitmo, the president ordered a task force run by the attorney general to review the status of all detainees still housed at gitmo. through much of 2009, the gitmo retainee review task force reviewed every detainee case and made recommendations to the administration on whether to transfer, release or detain each one. at a time when congress was aware that former gitmo detainees are returning it to their old ways, we have an obligation to the american people. an obligation to the american people to make sure that no more detainees are released who could cause us harm. even though gitmo remains opened right now, efforts to transfer or release many of these detainees continue today. the documents the intelligence committee is seeking all relate to the task force process and
4:38 pm
will help the committee understand why the task force made the recommendations it did especially with respect to those detainees who may have raised red flags for the -- by the intelligence community. we know that the attorney general provided recommendations on how the task force should make its transfer decisions because of separate information provided to the committee. we do not have everything, however, including the september 2009 memorandum in which the attorney general reportedly recommends that an entire category of detainees be presumed to be eligible for transfer. presumed eligible for transfer. while we've asked for these memorandums and any other recommendations repeatedly, the department's refused to -- departments refused to provide them. if the attorney general of the united states recommended that certain detainees be treated
4:39 pm
favorably, possibly in spite of the intelligence, the senate intelligence committee has a clear oversight interest in reviewing the september memorandum and seeing if and to whom it was applied. in addition to refusing to provide the september 2009 memorandum, the justice department has also denied the intelligence committee the recommendations of the task force. the committee cannot determine why the task force made its recommendations without seeing the description of how the task force came to the positions it did. the department claims that both the september 29 -- september 2009 memorandum and the unredacted recommendations are protected from disclosure to congress because of a deliberative process. well, mr. president, this is an assertion ordinarily used in a case of a context of executive
4:40 pm
privilege not to inhibit congressional oversight of federal agency. an interesting inconsistency in this assertion is that the administration has willingly provided the intelligence committee with the recommendations of the past administrations. i understand that in the last few days attorney general -- the attorney general has reached out to the vice chairman of the intelligence committee in an effort to resolved these issues before today's vote. given the department's months of delays and obstruction and complying with this request, i believe cloture on this nomination is not appropriate until the documents requested have been provided in full. in addition to the document issue, mr. cole has not explained some highly charged comments he made about 9/11. an op-ed he authored back in september 2002, called "the 9/11 attacks" and i -- quote -- "criminal acts of terrorism
4:41 pm
against a civilian population," he went on to dismiss the severity of 9/11 calling it no more than a -- and i quote -- "the scourge of the drug trade. the rein of organized crime and countless acts of rape, child abuse, and murder." mr. cole has not rejected or fully explained those comments. until he does so and until the department ends its refusal to comply with reasonable congressional request for information, i cannot support the move to consider his nomination and i certainly urge my colleagues to reject that urge today. i thank the chair and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
4:42 pm
4:43 pm
4:44 pm
mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i assume we're on the -- the presiding officer: the senate's in a quorum call. mr. leahy: the lights were not on. i'm sorry. i ask consent for the quorum to be called off and the lights are already off. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: there were no lights on. so. mr. president, i assume we're on the nomination of jim cole. you know, it's interesting, and, mr. president, time runs to -- may i make a parliamentary inquiry, time runs until 5:30.
4:45 pm
the presiding officer: that's correct. mr. leahy: i ask that the quorum calls be divided evenly on both sides. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, the majority leader's been required to filing cloture in this case that's extraordinary and in an attempt to overcome a republican filibuster for the nomination of jim cole to be the deputy attorney general. now, this is a key national security position, the number two position at the department of justice. certainly what's happened the past week or so, you would think that if anything, if people really believed in national security, they would want this president or any president to have their own national security team. i thought back and i said i never remember a time in my 37 years here where the senate has filibustered a president's nomination to be deputy attorney
4:46 pm
general, so i asked the senate judiciary committee staff to check that. their response was the senate has never filibustered a president's nomination to be the deputy attorney general. in fact, during the time i was chairman of the committee, we quickly moved each of president bush's -- president bush's deputy attorney general, including a couple that would not -- certainly would not have been my choice, but we knew it was a national security position and it was important at the time we face the threats we do here and abroad that we had that position filled. in fact, i thought it would be unconscionable for president bush, president reagan or any other president to stall on a deputy attorney general. it -- i might say this
4:47 pm
nomination was blocked last year. the nomination was reported favorably by the judiciary committee again in march, and incredibly it's again being filibustered. somebody asked me, they said this can't really be happening, can it? i said, you know, it's one week after the successful operation that killed osama bin laden, the world's number one terrorist, and there are people trying to block president obama from having his full national security team in place. it's alice in wonderland. now that a measure of justice has been secured for the victims of september 11, i have expressed hope that we can come together as we did in the weeks and months following september 11 and we should be ensuring we're extra vigilant these days. there are widespread reports experts are concerned about this being a time in which al qaeda
4:48 pm
would seek reprisals. most americans believe we should be concerned about the plan to strike back. it's not a time for a further delay or obstruction. we ought to join together and confirm this qualified nominee. we all ought to show the rest of the world that no matter what our political labels might be, we believe in the president of the united states having his national security team in place. this weekend, "the washington post" editorial board called this delay ridiculous. referring to the deputy attorney general as essentially the chief operating officer of the justice department, including its national security operations. of course, the delay is ridiculous, but worse than ridiculous, it's dangerous to every single american. it makes us less safe. i hope other senators will see it as such and help end it. we have the opportunity to set
4:49 pm
aside partisanship and join with our president to keep america safe. i recall in the aftermath of 9/11, we took immediate steps, republicans and democrats together, to do what we could to make sure the president's entire law enforcement team was in place. we expedited nominations in the weeks and months that followed. we confirmed an additional 58 officials to pose to the justice department at the end of 2001. they say that was good, you helped out a republican president to get his security team in to protect the nation but we're not going to help a democratic president to get a security team in to help the nation. it's the same nation. the security threats are the same against republicans and democrats. we ought to come together as americans first in this. last week at the judiciary
4:50 pm
committee's oversight hearing at the department of justice, the attorney general of the united states reiterated the need for final senate action on the nomination of the deputy attorney general. he urged the senate to confirm jim cole to help the department fulfill all of its critical tasks, including protecting national security at a time of heightened concern about retaliatory attacks stemming from osama bin laden's death. yet, rather than take the action to end the unnecessary and unexplained delays and finally confirm the nomination of jim cole, the unprecedented republican filibuster continued, it's wrong, that should end. i hope the senators on the other side of the aisle will listen to former deputies attorneys general of the united states, both those who served in republican administrations and democratic administrations. last december, they wrote to the
4:51 pm
leaders of the senate. they joined together as republicans and democrats and urged the senate to consider mr. cole's nomination without delay. these former officials have served with distinction at that post wrote that the deputy of the chief operating officer at the department of justice supervises the day-to-day operations and the deputy is also a key member of the president's national security team, a function that's grown in importance and complexity in the years since the terror attacks of september 11. these former deputies attorneys general, republicans and deps alike, were right. the advice rings true today. the senate's treatment of the cole nomination represents a shocked break from the senate's long-standing deference of the administration with timely consideration and critical national security and law enforcement nominations. in their letter last december,
4:52 pm
the eight former deputy attorneys general noted of the 11 nominations to fill this position over the last 20 years, nominations by both democratic and republican presidents, none remained pending for longer than 32 days. mr. president, i remember some with president bush remained pending even less than that. last december after the nomination had already been delayed for over four months without any explanation, i came to the floor and i asked unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by the majority and minority leaders, the senate consent to a time agreement for debate and a vote on the cole nomination. courage to step forward, not hide behind a filibuster to vote yes or vote no on this critical national security position. republicans objected to every --
4:53 pm
to that request in december. five months later, they still refuse to agree to a time to debate and vote on the nomination. the senate ought to vote. the american people expect us to vote. everybody knows the security of this country is threatened. everybody knows we should stand up and vote. jim cole served as a career prosecutor at the justice department for a dozen years under both a republican and democratic president. he has a well-deserved reputation for fairness and integrity and especially toughness. he has demonstrated he understands the issues of crime and national security. they're at the center of the deputy attorney general's job. nothing suggests he is going to be anything other than a strong system defender of america -- than a strong assistant defender of america's security. there is no excuse for failing to make sure that the
4:54 pm
administration has its full national security team in place. just as during the time when i was chairman, we moved very, very quickly on president bush's nominees for deputy attorney general including some, as i said, would not have been -- it certainly would not have been a recommendation i made to a democratic president because of the importance for the security of the united states, we want every president to succeed, no matter their priority. as chairman of this committee, i move them very, very rapidly. i wish friends on the other side of the aisle would allow that of mr. cole. so i hope the senate will reject this destructive and unprecedented filibuster so we can confirm it. as i said, i cannot remember a time in my 37 years here where we had filibustered a deputy attorney general for presidents
4:55 pm
of either party, and we found we never have ever, ever. so, mr. president, before i yield the floor, i have one unanimous consent request for the committee to meet during today's session of the senate. it has the approval of the majority and minority leaders. and i ask unanimous consent this request be agreed to and this request be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i yield the floor to the senator -- the distinguished senator from texas, and i yield the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee has pointed out that the deputy attorney general is a member of the national security team of the president, and the president has
4:56 pm
already used the authority under the constitution to make a recess appointment of this nominee, but the question before the senate today is whether the senate should confirm the nomination of james cole to serve as deputy attorney general there are three -- really three reasons why i oppose this nomination. the first is that mr. cole is one of the earliest and most vociferous advocates of bringing foreign al qaeda terrorists to american cities for civilian trials, a position since repudiated by the attorney general himself in the case of khalid sheikh muhammed, and i'm grateful for that, but mr. cole has never recanted his position that, in effect, these are criminal cases to be prosecuted as ordinary crimes rather than terrorist acts during a time of
4:57 pm
war. the problem, of course, with the paradigm of treating terrorism as a criminal case is that you don't punish the terrorists until they have actually been successful in committing a terrorist act, and in a war, having the battle, maybe more than half the battle, is trying to stop the terrorists from actually accomplishing his or her goal of killing innocent people, and you do that by interrogating detainees and finding out what they know about the organization and plans of terrorist organizations, and mr. cole unfortunately stands by the -- really the outdated, outmoded characterization of these terrorist attacks as if they were ordinary crimes, which they are something much worse indeed. quite frankly, as mr. holder's deputy, mr. cole will only exacerbate the worst tendencies
4:58 pm
of the department of justice when it comes to distinguishing between criminal prosecutions and fighting a war against terrorists. this was, of course, the primary reason why mr. cole's nomination was unanimously rejected by judiciary committee republicans in the judiciary committee. the american people want a department of justice that is committed to enforcing the law and protecting the innocent, not creating a new civil rights for terrorists or treating them as ordinary criminals when they are something else indeed. in fact, the recent -- the recent death of osama bin laden was the product of a lot of intelligence gathering that occurred over the years that would never have occurred if mr. cole's presumed model of mirandizeing people who are arrested, telling them they
4:59 pm
don't have to provide any information because they are being treated as ordinary criminals rather than as terrorists who are eligible for rough interrogation, if necessary, in order to find out what they know in order to save innocent lives. rather than listening to the concerns of republicans on the judiciary committee about mr. cole's very narrow view of the war on terror and of the views of the american people and perhaps reconsidering this flawed nomination, the president has decided to plow ahead and bypass the advice and consent process, as of course i said he has the right to do with a recess appointment. there's actually a couple of other reasons why i oppose the nomination. i want to first express my appreciation to senators chambliss and senator grassley. senator chambliss is a


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on